Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Cor. 1:3-4)
First I note that God is a comforting God to His people. But I wonder if why we are often so poor at being able to minister to others, is that we have not consciously sought the comfort which comes from God alone in our own distresses. And so we fail to help them seek Him for comfort directly. In other words, because WE look to others, rather than to Him directly in our trials, we then cannot help others to look directly to Him for the comfort they need. For they probably do not need us as directly as we think. Yes indeed, God often uses us as the instruments whereby He administers His comfort, but not so as to make us into the “Comforter” – that is The Spirit’s title and domain. Others need us most to point them back to Jesus, to receive the comfort we did when He comforted us. To be examples of standing fast while looking to Him.
Secondly, let us look to Him not just FOR our comfort, but AS our comfort. We tend to think of Him as supplying comfort in some fashion, rather than His nearness and presence actually being the comfort we need. For the more we come to grasp His great love, His compassion, His sweetness, His willingness to be sought and found, His nearness, His tenderness, His infinite creativity in meeting our needs and all this culminating in the Cross – the more our hearts are comforted in ways those apart from Christ cannot even imagine. Spurgeon once wrote: “Depend upon it, there are countless holy influences which flow from the habitual maintenance of great thoughts of God, as there are incalculable mischiefs which flow from our small thoughts of Him. The root of false theology is belittling God; and the essence of true divinity is greatening God, magnifying Him, and enlarging our conceptions of His majesty and His glory to the utmost.”
Third I note that He is the God of ALL comfort. He is not limited to any one means. He knows what we need spirit, soul and body. Our physical needs, psychological needs, our spiritual needs, etc. There is no category of our lives where He is not willing and able to be our comfort in distress. There is no distress His children suffer which is outside His purview.
James’ admonition that we often “have not, because we ask not” is far truer than we are wont to imagine. We consciously or even sub-consciously put some things outside the circle of what we bring to Him. And we are the losers in that approach. He who numbers the very hairs of our heads, who hears our every sigh, personally administrates the next beat of our hearts, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32) – not in terms of gross, fleshly consumption – but as the best and wisest of loving Fathers to His dear children.
Blessed indeed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the very Father of mercies. Oh how merciful to us He is – even in all the miseries we bring upon ourselves. And He is the God of all comfort. Pouring Himself into us, so that we may bring others to the mercy seat along with us when they experience trouble. That they may know Him that way too.
Run to Him Christian that you might know the comfort of Him in all things.
Run to Him sinner, that in fleeing to Christ, you may find the comfort of the forgiveness of sins, cleansing from guilt, deliverance from His just wrath, and entrance into His very family – because of Christ Jesus.