Daily Devotional

“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…” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Recently I began reading through the Book of 2 Corinthians, and I was struck by the way Paul began his letter.  He uses a very interesting word in the opening section – affliction.  In Greek, the word is thlípsis, and it comes from a root that means to crush, press, squeeze or break.  Now that’s a graphic picture of affliction, isn’t it?  You ever feel like life is pressing on you, squeezing you in its grip, threatening to crush you until you break?  That’s thlípsis.  It can be translated as affliction, distress, suffering, trouble, oppression, or tribulation.

As I studied the word, I noticed Paul uses it 9 times in the Book of 2 Corinthians.  But then I noticed something even more interesting.  He uses the word “comfort” 10 times in the span of 5 verses in chapter 1 (2 Cor. 1:3-7).  What can we make of that?

Here are a few encouraging thoughts:

First, notice that God is the source of our comfort.  He is called “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.”  When affliction is threatening to crush you, just stop for a moment and imagine what it would be like if God wasn’t there.  But the fact is he is there!  And he promises he will comfort us the way a loving father cares for a hurting child.

Second, notice that God promises to comfort us in “all our affliction.”  In other words, he never leaves us alone.  There’s never a moment of trouble or sorrow where he is not holding our hand, leading us through the pain.
Third, notice that the comfort we receive is greater than the suffering we endure.  Verse 5 says: “as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”  God will never give us more than we can handle, and his grace is always sufficient for us (2Cor 12:9).

Finally, notice the result of our affliction, mentioned in verse 4.  Why does God allow us to go through suffering?  So that we will be able to comfort others with the comfort we have received from God!

Suffering develops empathy.  It teaches us compassion.  When we suffer, we can relate to people who are going through the fire, and we actually have some insight to share – unlike Job’s friends who spoke out of ignorance and caused more harm than good.
So, today, if you’re going through a hard time, remember these truths!  Even though it may not be easy, you can praise the Lord for being the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort.  Lean into that promise, and keep your eyes open for opportunities to comfort others.  God will not waste one ounce of your suffering if you trust him.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Posted in
Tagged with