(2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
Manuel Chong, Elder
God alone gives the kind of comfort that leads to hope. That kind of life-changing comfort is passed along through loving and nurturing relationships with others in their times of suffering, discouragement or trials.
I. BE ENCOURAGED BECAUSE GOD IS THE FATHER OF MERCIES AND GOD OF ALL COMFORT (v. 3)
The God who is our provider of mercy and comfort is the same God that our Lord Jesus Himself trusted during times of trials.
Jesus suffered a time of affliction. (John 12:27-28)
The Father comforted the Son. (John 16:32)
Greek for mercy means compassion, pity.
Displays a concern over the suffering of others.
In God’s very heart, He feels mercy towards us.
Because of God’s mercy, He gave His only Son.
Greek for comfort means exhortation, to encourage or to console someone in their suffering.
Not merely expressing pity
Takes one step further into actually doing something to lift the spirits of the one who is suffering.
II. BE ENCOURAGED BECAUSE GOD KNOWS OUR AFFLICTION (4a, 5)
Affliction translated as tribulation, anguish, persecution or burden.
Affliction occurs in the heart.
Genuine comfort is a gift of God’s grace.
All true comfort has God alone as its ultimate source.
2 Corinthians 11:23-28
23 ...I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers.
2 Corinthians 11:23-28
27 I have laboured and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.
III. ENCOURAGING OTHERS (v. 4b)
God’s gift of comfort comes to us vertically.
We shared God’s comfort to others horizontally.
We are able to comfort those who are in “any affliction” with the comfort we received from God.
God has given us the gift of comfort that leads to the kind of hope that people around us so desperately need.
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