The God of All Comfort- 2 Corinthians 1:4-7

In this passage, we find that the “Father of compassion” is also referred to as the “God of all comfort”, that God not only experienced the tribulation we do, but also comforts us in the midst of this tribulation. The Greek word translated comfort here is paraklesis, literally “called alongside”. It was used primarily in reference to someone who was called alongside another to aid them in a time of trouble or with a difficult situation, providing comfort or consolation in the midst of the tribulations of life. So with God being referred to here as the God of all comfort, we learn that God will “come alongside” us in the trials and tribulations which we all experience in life. We must note here that God does not remove the tribulation, but comes to our aid in the midst of it, providing the comfort and consolation to help us endure it. So then, just what form does this “comfort” take? We must first understand that this comfort is not primarily oriented toward the emotions, that comfort comes not from feeling something, but from knowing something, and what we know is that God Himself comforts us in all our tribulations. This is something which Paul states here as a matter of fact, as something he knows as a certainty, which he has learned from experience and also by revelation. God has revealed himself to Paul as the one from whom all “comfort” ultimately comes, and this comfort has come to Paul not through what he feels, but through what he knows. And what he knows is fundamentally a matter of three related facts. The first is that God is sovereign over the tribulation, that these troubles would not be happening if God did not allow them. The second is that God loves us, which means He always seeks the best for us, always does what He knows to be in our best interest. The third is that the tribulation is for our ultimate good, and that good is defined as our being “conformed to the image of Christ” (Romans 8:28-29). This is what Paul knows, for he has learned it from God, and it is this knowing which provides Paul the comfort in tribulation which he refers to here. What we also find here is that this comfort is intended not to be kept to ourselves, but to be shared with others. As we learn in verses 4-7, God comforts us primarily in order that we may then comfort others who are also experiencing tribulation. Tribulations, troubles and difficulties are a universal human reality, every human being undergoes them in this fallen world, and the good news which Paul has for believers here is that the God who came and experienced tribulation as well will “comfort” us in the midst of our own tribulations, reminding us that all “trouble” ultimately comes from God and that God is using it ultimately for our good, to conform us to the image of Christ.

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