Friday, December 5, 2008


2 Corinthians 1:3-11

I pray you've had a blessed Thanksgiving. I wanted to share a few encouraging verses from 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 about "The God of All Comfort." I think this passage is very appropriate during some challenging times.

In our small group alone we've experienced a recent death of an extended family member; we have several family members, or extended family members, with medical problems or illnesses; we have a pending job loss/change; we have one who is having to lay off workers; we have one starting a new job and considering a move; and we've had a prayer request for encouragement during spiritual dryness.

But God is the "God of all comfort" during our afflictions (verse 4). Why do we endure these afflictions? "So that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort that we ourselves are comforted by God." I pray that all of us will be comforted by these scriptures, and that others will see Christ in how we respond during our afflictions. Isn't it wonderful to know that others may be comforted by the comfort God has extended to us? Our current afflictions may very well be used by God to help others in similar circumstances down the road.

The affliction that Paul experienced in Asia (verse 8) was to make them not rely on themselves, but on "God who raises the dead" (verse 9). Brothers and sisters, our afflictions make us rely not on "ourselves," but on God. On Him we have set our hope (verse 10), "the Father of mercies and God of all comfort" (verse 3). Let's not rely on ourselves, but on Him!

How can you help someone who is afflicted today? Paul says (verse 11), "You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many." Let's love and help one another through prayer. Pray that the Father of mercies and God of all comfort will strengthen us, encourage us, and help us to endure our afflictions.

"For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too" (verse 5). Our hope is in Christ and He will deliver us -- let us always be prepared to share this hope we've been given. When afflictions come, may our hope be unshaken (verse 7), may we patiently endure (verse 6), and may we be comforted by these words, "He will deliver us again" (verse 10). We have a loving Father "who raises the dead" (verse 9). Amen!

"There is a multitude of tender mercies in God essentially, and all mercies are from God originally; mercy is His genuine offspring and His delight. All our comforts come from God, and our sweetest comforts are in Him." Matthew Henry

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