COMFORT IN TRIALS
God Comforting Us in All Our Afflictions
2 Cor. 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassions and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction that we may be able to comfort those who are in every affliction through the comforting with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
The God of all Encouragement
Verse 3 reveals Paul’s emotion: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassions and God of all encouragement.” Paul’s reference to affliction, suffering, and encouragement in verses 4 and 5 also indicates that he was emotional. It seems to me that Paul could have condensed these three verses into one sentence and said, “Dear Corinthian brothers, since I have been encouraged by God, I would now encourage you.” (Life-study of 2 Corinthians, msg. 1)
Being Comforted from within By Calling, “O Lord Jesus”
When we encounter hardships, are we comforted by calling on George Washington? Of course not. Calling on Plato will not bring us joy. This is the same as calling on Socrates, Confucius, or Mencius. We have a response within only when we call on the name of the Lord Jesus. It does not matter whether we are joyful or sorrowful. If we come to the Lord Jesus when we are sorrowful and helpless and call, “O Lord Jesus,” we will be comforted from within. We do not need to mention our problems. Outwardly, we may appear sorrowful, but we are assured deep within that the Lord will take of us .We know that the Lord is never wrong ,and we are comforted. (CWWL, 1989, vol. 2,“The New Testament Priesthood,” ch. 13)
Experiencing the Encouragement of God
So That We May Be Able to Encourage Others
In verse 4 Paul says that we encourage those in affliction through the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God. First we must experience the encouragement of God. Then we shall be able to encourage others with the encouragement we have experienced of God. Hence, we are encouraged so that we may be able to encourage others. This requires experience. When we are experienced, we have the spiritual capital necessary for encouraging others.
If you have never suffered and have never been encouraged by God, you will not be able to encourage others. Your words of encouragement will be empty. You will be like someone writing a check for a large amount of money without having the funds in the bank to back up such a check. You do not have the reality, the experience, the spiritual capital. First we ourselves must suffer for the Lord’s interests and then be comforted and encouraged by God. Then this experience will become the spiritual capital to encourage others. In this way, we are encouraged and then we encourage others. (Life-study of 2 Corinthians, msg. 1)
Lord Jesus, praise You as God of all encouragement, thank You for encourage us in all afflictions. Lord, I need to experience Your encouragement more, that I may encourage others. When I feel sorrowful and helpless, I am willing to call You, and I will be encouraged through the calling.