Summary: You can trust God to sustain and encourage you, even in the most severe trial, because that¡¦s the kind of God he is.
Some of you have been through some trials recently. Some of you are going through some deep stuff right now. People have come to you, seeking to comfort you. And sometimes that just doesn¡¦t make you feel any better. When you¡¦re in suffering, it feels like the pressure will never let up. It feels like the pain will never end. It feels like nobody possibly knows what you¡¦re bearing in your heart. One of the questions we have during those times: Is there any comfort for me? Is there any way that I¡¦m going to feel better? Is it possible to endure this? I don¡¦t see how. I want to encourage you from God¡¦s word this morning that there is comfort in suffering. I know it by experience. I know it because God promised it. I know it because I know what God is like. You might feel beyond comfort today. You might feel great today, but something might hit you tomorrow that leaves you without hope. I want you to know: I will never minimize what you¡¦re going through. I¡¦m going to give you some assurances today, but in doing so, I don¡¦t in any way take your suffering lightly. But you need to understand that you can trust God to sustain and encourage you, even in the most severe trial, because that¡¦s the kind of God he is.
I.GOD IS A GOD OF COMFORT (3-7)
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."
A.HE COMFORTS US DIRECTLY
1.the starting point of everything in life is understanding who God is
How we respond to suffering depends on our view of God
2.(3) tells us what kind of God he is
he is "the Father of compassion"
"the God of all comfort"
central to his whole being is the attribute of compassion
which expresses itself in comfort
God would not be God if this were not true of him
3.based on who God is, he deserves our praise
(3) directs us to offer our praise to this God
we ought to rejoice that this is who God is
to extol him with the highest compliments
because of this
talk is cheap
its easy to talk God-talk when its just abstract and distant
anyone can say "God is good" when things are going easy
but this declaration is not empty words
we don¡¦t know what exactly it was,
but Paul had just gone through some serious trials
which he describes in (8)
so he knew what he was talking about
God’s character had been tested in his life
And he could say, from personal experience:
"God is a God of compassion and comfort"
4. the fact is: God comforts us (3): in ALL our troubles
let¡¦s figure out how he does this
the word ¡§comfort¡¨ = to come alongside to help
its an arm around the shoulder
its someone to take up your cause
in fact, one of the names for the Holy Spirit is the Comforter
that¡¦s the same Greek word for the ¡§comfort¡¨ God gives in (3)
he comforts us through the Holy Spirit
when you¡¦re in a time of trial, the Holy Spirit comes alongside your life
Rom 8: when we don¡¦t know how to pray
When you¡¦re suffering, prayer can be very hard