2 Corinthians 1:3-4
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 tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
blessed (v.1) = speak well of, celebrate by praising, worthy of praise, used only of God the Father and of Christ, because only God is inherently praiseworthy. From the Greek word from which we get the English word eulogize.
mercies (v.1) = compassion, favor, grace — a deep feeling about someone’s difficulty or misfortune.
comfort (v.1) = a calling or summons to one’s aid, consolation and encouragement
This next quote from Stam really got me thinking about what I expect—and should expect—when I got to God for comfort.
The English word comfort had a somewhat different meaning to the translators … than it does to us today. We generally think of comfort as consolation or solace: an effort to assuage another’s grief. But to them it had more of the meaning of encouragement. Indeed, the Greek paraklesis means to be “called alongside,” i.e., to help. The classic example … of the Holy Spirit’s usage of the words rendered “comfort” and “Comforter” is found in Hebrews 6:18-19, and John 14:16 respectively:
“That … we might have strong consolation [Greek, paraklesis] … to lay hold on the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul both sure and stedfast …” (Hebrews 6:18-19).
“And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter …” (John 14:16).
Here again, the “Comforter” is not one who would assuage their grief, but one who would always be “alongside to help,” as our Lord had been.
In the “comfort” we read of in 2 Corinthians 1:3, God does not say, “Just lie down here and get a good sleep, and you’ll feel better.” Rather He comes alongside to arouse us from sleep and to en-courage us (i.e., to inspire us with courage)”. — Stam, pages 34-35.
Christ’s followers are not promised exemption from suffering, but they are assured of consolation in suffering. They only can truly comfort others who themselves have suffered and been comforted. — Williams
Some … see believers only as in Christ, already seated in the heavenlies, having been justified from all their sins. But these overlook the fact that the same passage in Ephesians which states that we have been raised from the dead, and made to sit in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 2:6), also says that we have “access by one Spirit unto the Father (Ephesians 2:18). The former, of course, has to do with our present position in Christ, while the latter refers to our present condition and our need to take advantage of the free “access” God has given us into His presence by the blood of Christ. This access is given to us that we may “obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (See Hebrews 4:16; 10:19-20). — Stam, page 33.
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