TEEN TREE OF LIFE

The God of All Comfort - Part 1

August 28, 2022

 

Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called Rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1 JOH 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins andto cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on The Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”

 

There is a great deal of sadness in the world: disease, famine, homelessness, crime, losing loved ones. These hardships will affect all of us in some way throughout our lives. You may be facing a trial right now, even at your age. Or you may know someone who is going through a difficult time. When we see others go through tragedies, we often suffer right along with them.

 

How do you respond to the trials in your life or when you witness the trials of others? Paul advises us in ROM 12:15 (New International Reader’s Version) that we should: Be joyful with those who are joyful. Be sad with those who are sad. That’s a wonderful way to be with people, don’t you think? It shows great love for others if you rejoice with those who rejoice and also shows compassion for those who are going through sadness and trouble. This is an important part of being a Christian because it’s part of fulfilling God’s Commands to love one another and to comfort one another. But how do you do these things correctly, as Christians?

 

The world copes with the trials of life very differently than the way believers should deal with them. The world generally seeks a way to either escape or ignore their problems. This is the driving force behind most addictions to drugs and alcohol, but people also try to ignore or escape their problems through self-indulgence, materialism, or irresponsibility – all of which can give a brief reprieve from reality. But the problems don’t go away. Always remember that God’s Word offers a better way to face trials and tribulations. His Way is to find comfort and hope in His Truth. And His people are often the means by which He puts forth truth and practical help. That is the subject of this study.

 

Our God is the God of all Comfort. Let’s look at the apostle Paul’s explanation and example of this in 2 COR 1:3-7 (New American Standard Bible): Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are partners in our sufferings, so also you are in our comfort.

 

The Book of Second Corinthians was written by the apostle Paul, along with his co-laborer in ministry, Timothy. It’s a letter to the Corinthian church written while on Paul was on his third missionary journey. It was written many months or perhaps up to a year after his first letter to the Corinthians. Paul had spent a year and a half teaching at Corinth on his second missionary journey, but after his departure, the church demonstrated its immaturity with factions developing quickly and aberrant and heretical doctrine being taught. This is what prompted Paul’s first letter. Corinth was an utterly wicked city located on the narrow strip of land connecting northern Greece with southern Greece. For this reason, it took more work to get them to understand holiness and walk in it because godly morality was so foreign to their culture. This second letter is a mixture of both encouragement regarding what was going well and admonishment because of the problems that continued or had developed.

 

After Paul gives his customary greeting in Second Corinthians, expressing his desire that the Grace and Peace that can only come from God Our Father and The Lord Jesus Christ to be upon them, he quickly moves to his first subject which is the source and extent of comfort. In doing so, he also describes three attributes of God related to that comfort and the reason that God is Blessed. Blessed here pertains to being worthy of praise and commendation, and without a doubt, God is worthy.

 

The first attribute is “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Every blessing we have in Jesus Christ is ultimately related to His Relationship with God The Father. Every precious and magnificent promise we have from The Lord Jesus Christ is grounded in God The Father. This is because Jesus Christ came to do the Father’s Will and to carry out His Plan of Redemption of sinful man.

 

The second attribute is “The Father of Mercies.” Mercy here refers to emotions of sympathy, pity, and compassion. Paul uses this same word in ROMS 12:1 (New American Standard Bible): Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. Here, Paul uses it to refer back to everything he explained in the previous eleven chapters about God’s Righteous Actions in bringing about Redemption by His Grace. It is plural pointing to the multiple and multifaceted Compassion of God extended to man ranging from supplying the necessities of daily life to Salvation from sin and Adoption into His Family.

 

The third attribute which Paul mentions is “The God of All Comfort.” Comfort here refers to helping someone to be encouraged or consoled in either verbal or non-verbal ways. It means to come to someone to speak encouragement or consolation. Paul specifically designates God to be “The God of All Comfort” because He is The Ultimate Source of all such comfort.

 

All true encouragement or consolation must be rooted in Truth. Christians are to speak the truth in love.  This is taught in EPH 4:15-16 (The Message Bible): God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love. Even difficult truths are bearable when love and kindness are also present to point us to God’s Promises which transcend the tribulations of living in this sin-cursed world.

 

2 COR. 1:4 (New International Reader’s Version) tells us: He comforts us in all our troubles. Now we can comfort others when they are in trouble. We ourselves receive comfort from God. All three of God’s Attributes, which Paul mentions, ensure us of the truth of 2 COR. 1:4 – that God comforts us in all of our affliction. Affliction here refers to any trouble involving direct suffering. Notice first that Paul immediately states that the purpose of such comfort is so that we can comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. While God will comfort you, His purpose extends beyond just you to include others who need the comfort you can give them. That matches a basic premise in the Christian life expressed in PHIL 2:3-4 (New American Standard Bible) which reads: Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility consider one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. As you can see, we’re supposed to have humility of mind and regard others as more important than ourselves so that we don’t merely look out for our own interests, but also look out for the interests of others. And this is vitally important when other people in our lives need comfort.

 

All of this boils down to these essential premises. 1) If I am afflicted, I should be actively looking to see how God is going to comfort me so that I will learn and be able to comfort others by pointing to His Faithfulness in my own experience. 2) The greater you have learned to trust God in the tribulations of life, the greater you will be able to help others going through the same or similar misfortunes. These are very important to know.

{to be continued}

 

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