#023: Christians Need, Receive, and Share Comfort

Are there days when you need a little extra comfort? It might come in the form of a big hug from someone who loves and cares about you.

Comfort

Or it might come in the form of a kind word, or maybe even a “random act of kindness.” But chances are if not today, certainly by the end of the week, there will be a moment when an extra measure of comfort in your life will turn that frown upside down!

Writing to the Corinthians, Paul describes the terrifying circumstances that caused him to even despair of his life (v8)! Certainly Paul needed some comfort, some encouragement, in his life. In 2 Corinthians Paul pours out his heart describing Christians’ need for comfort, how we can receive comfort from God, and that we should share our comfort with others.

2 Corinthians 1:3-7 (NASB)
3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
4  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.
5  For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.
6  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;
7  and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.

Christians Need Comfort. Paul experienced such suffering in his missionary journeys that he despised his life. God does not protect His children from trials and tribulations

8  For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life;
9  indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead. 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 (NASB)

Christians Receive Comfort. Paul writes that God is the Father of all mercy and God of all comfort. Despite the afflictions that faced him, Paul knows that ultimately God gives the biggest hugs of all.

3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4  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. 5  For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.

Christians Share Comfort. Paul says while the Corinthians share in his sufferings, they also share his comfort

6  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;
7  and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.

Application:

Becoming a Christian does not mean all your problems will instantly go away, and that life will forevermore be a bed of roses. In fact, as we read the Scripture, we see the opposite is often the case. Certainly we see that in Paul’s life. If an APOSTLE can face so much and continue on, we should endeavor to do the same.

Christians need comfort. We will face tribulations. Christians receive comfort from God who gives it abundantly. While God is the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, He does not give us these mercies and comfort just to make us feel better but to help others as well. Warren Weirsbe said, “God’s comfort is not given, it is loaned, and you are expected to pass it on to others!”

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As always questions and comments are welcome. Have you found that giving comfort to others has a way of lessening the pain of your own trials?

Category: Relationships | Healthy Alliances

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