FATHER OF MERCIES AND GOD OF ALL COMFORT
2 Corinthians 1: 1-10
Writing to believers in Corinth, Paul explains to them why he had failed to visit them as he had hoped. This was not due to any lack of love or dedication on his part. Rather, he had suffered deeply in Asia, so much so that he ‘despaired even of life’, v. 8. Neither was this suffering due to any sin or failure in his life. Instead, he was experiencing something of the sufferings of Christ in himself. These sufferings were not the same as the sufferings of Christ upon the cross. Those were sufferings no one else could endure because they resulted in the redemption of sinners. Yet Christ did suffer when He was in this world. He was tempted, mocked, despised, persecuted, rejected, in spiritual as well as physical distress, and all for the sake of the Father who had sent Him and the sinners for whom He came.
Did Paul find comfort and strength in his sufferings and afflictions in Asia? He did indeed. God delivered him, v. 10. Yet Paul not only experienced the deliverance of God in his afflictions; He also experienced the comfort of God, for God is the Father of all ‘pityings’. ‘Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him’, Ps. 103. 13. Not only did God pity Paul in this fatherly way, He also drew alongside him to strengthen him. The word for comfort occurs at least ten times in verses 3 to 7. It is based on the word paraclete, which means one who draws alongside to help someone in times of severe testing. The title Comforter, or Paraclete, properly belongs to the Holy Spirit, John 14.16,26. It is also used of the Lord Jesus, 1 John 2.1. Here, the word refers to the Father as the One who constantly comforts or draws alongside.
Are we afflicted by bereavement? Was not the Father, when His Son died? Do we suffer from disobedient and rebellious children? So did God, Isa. 1. 2. God is the God of all comfort who is able to comfort us in all our afflictions. These two ‘alls’ show us the complete sufficiency of God’s comfort in every circumstance. And is this to be selfishly enjoyed? No, we are comforted that we may comfort others also. What love and care are shown to believers who experience the comforting ministry of Father, Son and Holy Spirit in all afflictions.
Taken from Daily Thought, Precious Seed International