Sep 1, 2010

The God of Comfort

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. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

The past several months have led me to contemplate on these verses more than ever before. We have had several relationships in our lives be faced with trial, suffering, pain, sickness, disease, and even death. So how do we, as those who find salvation in Christ, find comfort and be a reflection of comfort to those in such peril times? The words of Paul to the church in Corinth say it oh so well. Paul's prayer for spiritual strength to the saints in Ephesus is also a means to encouraged for times of apparent dispare or trial:

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is names, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through is Spirit n your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your heats through faith-- that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all what we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:14-21

Sometimes the pace is easy, sometimes the pace is wearisome and heavy, sometimes the pace feels impossible. But no matter what kind of race God calls us to, we are never alone; "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live." Jn 14:18-19

And in this race for Christ we have a Helper; "If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you." Jn 14:15-17

Also Jesus tells us we are called to a purpose in this race "to do His work"; Jn 14:12 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father."

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