Comfort My People

Blessed [be] God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort” – 2 Corinthians 1:3

God comforts us so that we could in turn comfort other people.  When we have lost a loved one or going through a divorce or a long-term relationship has ended, we turn to God and he comforts us.  He helps us to get through these tough times.  When someone close to us goes through something we have experienced, we are equipped to help that person.

Paul relates in his letters to Corinth, “For indeed when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side.  Outside were conflicts, inside were fears.  Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which he was comforted in you, when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced even more.” (2 Corinthians 7:5-7)  God comforted Paul when he learned that the people in Corinth had repented and returned to a Christian lifestyle.  False teachers who had undermined Paul’s work there had besieged them.

In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul defends his Ministry. “I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters.  For some say, ‘His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing’.  Such people should realise that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present.   If someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.  But I do not think I am he least inferior to those ‘super apostles.’  I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge.  We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way.  And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in things they boast about. “(2 Corinthians 10:9-11, 11:4-6, 12.)

Paul did not allow the attacks on his ministry or the hardships he faced to hamper him.  He did not allow himself to be swallowed in self-pity.  He continued to do God’s work.  He focused on the work rather than on the circumstances.  And he reiterates this; “We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited.  Rather as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way:  in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots,; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonour, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and  yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.” – (2 Corinthians 6:3-10)

Paul in turn offers these comforting words to the people, “Become complete.  Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”

We cannot do anything without God.  God is our Helper, Provider, Comforter and all that we have comes from Him.  God blessed Job with more than he had before he was tested.  God blessed Abraham with a son in his old age; God gave Hannah the son she prayed for; God protected David from Saul and His grace was sufficient for Paul.  America could not have survived the vicious attack it suffered on September 11th without God’s help.  God strengthen the nation and healed it.

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