Summary: One of the many paradoxes of the Christian life is that the grace of God is most keenly experienced not in the best but in what seems to be the worst of times. However much the Christian longs for exaltation it is when he is humble he receives grace.
2 CORINTHIANS 1: 3-7 [GAINING PERSPECTIVE Series]
THANKSGIVING FOR GOD’S COMFORT
One of the many paradoxes of the Christian life is that the grace of God is most keenly experienced not in the best but in what seems to be the worst of times. However much the Christian longs for exaltation it is when he is humble he receives grace (2 Cor. 12:9; 1 Pet.5:5; Jas 4:6). [Walvoord, John & Zuck, Roy. The Bible Knowledge Commentary. Wheaton, IL : Victor Books, 1983 S. 554.]
So Paul urges all sorrowing and troubled hearts to find strength in God. Paul knew that God bestows comfort for he had been recipient of it in his afflictions. When the Christian experiences affliction he finds God’s comforts which enables him to comfort others (CIT).
I. THE GOD OF ALL COMFORT; 1:3-4.
II. SUFFERINGS INTENDED RESULT; 1: 5-7.
[III. THE HOPE OF DELIVERANCE; 1:8-11.]
With a burst of praise to God for comforting and encouraging him, Paul begins his letter in verse 3. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ the Father of Mercies and God of All Comfort,”
Paul introduced this letter with a blessing and now blesses the Blesser! He wasn’t blessing God because of his difficult circumstances but was blessing God because He is worthy to be praised even in difficult circumstances. This word blessed ( ) is used in the N.T. only of God. Blessed is an expression of highest esteem and thanksgiving.
Paul’s uses three titles or names to address his blessing to God. The first is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ is our mediator with the Father. Jesus humbled Himself in His incarnation and placed Himself in dependency upon the Father. Next he addresses God as the Father of Mercies. Mercy here [from , meaning to pity] is the feeling of compassion that goes out in seeing another’s distress. He is the originator from Whom all mercies flow (Ps.103:13f). God’s mercies include deliverance from the world, sin, and Satan, and fellowship with the Spirit in truth, light, and life.
The third title listed is the God of All (or every) Comfort. The Greek word [para-klsis] literally means “to call along side” or “to be close,” thus to comfort or encourage. [The paraklsis root occurs ten times in vv. 3-7.] The English word comfort comes from the Latin confortis which means “to brave together.” It has the idea of standing beside a person to encourage him while he is under testing. The same word is used by Jesus to describe the Holy Spirit as the Comforter or Paraclete (Jn. 14:16; 16:7) meaning “one who stands alongside and helps.” The thought is that God is the Divine fount of all consolation to His people. He is the God of All Comfort not only by delivering us from evil or by ordering our external circumstances, but chiefly by the inward influence of His presence on the mind and heart which casts out the tumults and fills with joy and peace.