The other day in Bible study we were discussing topic of pain and suffering and the lesson was centered on one of my favorite passages of scripture, 2 Corinthians 1:2-4. As Paul is writing to the Corinthians, he seeks to encourage those who are going through a season of suffering and sorrow. Paul writes:
2 Co 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 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.
I love this passage of scripture. Paul greets the readers of his letter and expresses his desire that all of them would know and experience God’s grace and God’s peace. And certainly, some readers of his letter needed to do just that. Certainly, some readers of his letter were in the midst of some season of sorrow or some times of trouble. And yet, even for those in the midst of dark and difficult days, Paul knew that God’s grace and God’s peace was available. It was available because God is a God of mercy and comfort.
Paul knew that if those who were suffering would depend on the Lord and lean on Him, the Lord could be counted on to strengthen them and comfort them during their time of troubles. Paul knew that those who trusted in God would later be able to comfort others with the same comfort of God that they had received. Paul knew this personally. In verses 8 – 10, Paul speaks of the despair that he and his missionary partners experienced in Asia. They were “burdened excessively” and “despaired even of life.” Paul and his friends were at the lowest of lows but God strengthened them. Paul knew that God was available and able to strengthen the Corinthians too.
I really do love this passage! God who strengthened and comforted Paul and the Corinthians is STILL the Father of all mercies and all comfort. He stands ready to comfort you. He stands ready to pour out His grace on you. He stands ready to deliver you in the midst of your season of sorrow or time of trouble. He wants you to know His peace.