Summary: This sermon describes some of the ways God comforts us in our troubles.
Text: 2 Corinthians 1:3-11
Title: Praise be to the Father of Compassion and the God of all comfort.
The apostle Paul opens our scripture text for today by praising God the Father.
He praises him for firstly being the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and secondly for being the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.
Paul came to know that God is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ by divine revelation
In Acts 26 Paul testifies that one day at about noon on the road to Damascus he had a divine revelation and he came to see that God is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
If you had asked the Apostle Paul at 11 O Clock that same day if God was the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ he would have said absolutely not!
Now in verse 3 Paul also praises God for being the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.
In verse 4 we come to know how Paul came to this knowledge.
“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.”
How did Paul know that God was the father of compassion and the God of all comfort?
He knew that God was the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort through personal experience.By what God did to him and by what God did through him!
There are some things we can only know by divine revelation and there are some things God wants us to know through personal experience.
One thing God wants us to know by personal experience is that he is the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.
Compassion and comfort go together.
Compassion always moves a person to comfort.
How does one become more compassionate? We become more compassionate by first receiving compassion from God.
God comforts us in all our troubles
Some of the types of trouble God comforts us can be found in our scripture passage.
1. In times of distress (v6)
2. In times of suffering (V6)
3. In times of hardship (v8)
4. In times of great pressure (v8)
5. In times of despair (v9)
6. In times of deadly peril (v9)
7. In times of death (V9)
It’s important to see here that the comfort God gives is a supernatural comfort.
“For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” (V5)
This comfort that the apostle Paul experienced did not come through some self- reliance.
“But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.”
It’s a supernatural comfort.
It comes from God the Father through God the Son and by the Holy Spirit.
What does this supernatural comfort do in the life of the believer?
1. It produces in you patient endurance (v6)
“If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.”
Patient endurance refers to that quality of character that does not allow one to surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial.
God produces in you patient endurance by causing you to see the greater good.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” (James 1:2-3)
2. It firms up your hope. (V7)
“And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so you also share in our comfort.”
“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead-since he was about a hundred years old- and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” (Romans 4:18-21)
His hope was firm despite
1. All hope
2. The facts
3. His age
4. His physical condition
5. His wife’s condition
3.It keeps your head above water (V8-9)
“We do not want you to be uninformed brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.”
How did Paul make it despite the hardships, the suffering, the great pressure and the despair? The comfort of God