Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
These two little verses actually come from the greeting Paul is bringing to the Corinthian church at the beginning of the letter he is sending them. Back in those days, this kind of a flattering and, if I may say so, flowery greeting was customary. Today we might say that it checks a box in the stylebook of that day for a proper letter, and as readers we might just tear through the greeting to get to the meat of the letter. Yet, if we were to simply zip through these verses to get to the good part, we would be doing ourselves a great disservice.
Please, take a minute and read through them again, more slowly this time.
Paul is giving praise to the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. Don’t we all need compassion and comfort at times? I think we all do, even if we don’t like to talk about such things. He continues with this little gem: who comforts us in all our troubles. Do you have any troubles that God cannot bring comfort to help you through? Do you have anything troubling you right now as you read this? If so, the God of all comfort is there with you… pretty amazing if you think about it.
But Paul isn’t quite through yet, for he goes on to say: so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
So, If I’m getting this right, our wonderful God, the God of all comfort can, and He will, bring us comfort in any kind of trouble, and that His abundance is so great, that we will have compassion and comfort enough left over, so that we can share it with others who need it. When I think about this, it occurs to me that although God has made us many precious promises, He isn’t offering to be my personal therapist or to put it another way, He isn’t providing me with strength and courage and comfort and love just for my benefit and purpose. No! He is providing these things to me so that I can use them for the benefit of others, and in so doing, I will be acting for God’s purpose.
Double Wow!! This is beyond amazing, and just think, this came from the part we usually just rush through to get to the good stuff.