3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Has anyone ever showed you compassion or comfort in a given situation? Compassion is showing concern for someone who is sick, hurting, or in a poor condition. It is demonstrating a sense of consciousness of another person’s distress with a desire to walk with them in it. Whereas Comfort literally means to give strength and hope, to ease someone’s grief, to console them. Both compassion and comfort go hand in hand with our command to “bear one another’s burdens.” (Galatians 6:2) The Apostle Paul declares that the Lord God our Creator, is the ultimate source for distributing these two elements to the hurting soul as he writes, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.” This statement in itself should give us pause to ask some questions, “Where are we looking for compassion and comfort? What or who is our source? Does this source ultimately provide hope, compassion, and comfort along life’s journey, possibly even for the benefit of others?”
Paul gives us a two-fold reason for God’s great comfort and our desperate need for it, as he explains, God “comforts us in our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” Therefore, we understand that God in His goodness comforts us in our troubles, hardships, pain, and suffering, not merely for our benefit, but also for the purpose of comforting and ministering to those around us with the same comfort we have received from Him. However, in order to receive this comfort from God, there must be an element of desperate surrender to Him, asking Him for comfort within our trials and suffering, not necessarily immediate deliverance from them. Then, if we desire to be used of God for His purposes and have an awareness of the needs of others, He will lead us to those who are in desperate need of the comfort with which we have already received from Him. One of the greatest promises we have is that our suffering is never in vain, God will always use it for His glory and purposes to draw ourselves as well as others nearer to Him. Today, if you’re hurting, struggling, or it feels like your hope is fading, turn toward the ONE who is the “Father of Compassion and the God of all Comfort,” then commit to be desperate for Him.
Father, I thank You that in times of suffering, pain, or hurt in my life You look upon my circumstances full of both comfort and compassion. Thank You for being ever-ready to pour your compassion and comfort over me like medicine for the weary soul. Help me to “cast my cares upon you because you care for me” (1 Peter 5:7), inviting You to both comfort and strengthen me. Allow me to be aware of opportunities to be used by you to comfort those in any trouble with the comfort I have received from You, Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.