2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Friday, September 11, 2020
2 Corinthians 1:3-4: “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.”
Paul reveals four qualities of God:
1. Father of Jesus Christ - Paul gives a blessing to God. He is praising him for our Salvation in Jesus. In Acts 4:11-12, Peter reminds us that there is no other but Jesus which can save.
2. Father of mercies - The word mercies comes up again. It is plural…. more than one. The idea here is twofold: God is coming to the rescue of people who are hurting, injured and dying. Like the Red Cross after as disaster. But instead of being a natural disaster this is one of our own making…our sin. We don’t deserve to be rescued but God comes in anyway.
Mercy and grace are similar but not interchangeable. Grace is a gift we don't deserve, while mercy is not getting the punishment we deserve. Mercy is compassion. Grace is undeserved merit. Example - Policemen mercy is not giving a ticket. Grace is giving me tickets to a Casting Crown concert. God’s mercy is rescuing us and forgiving our sins… his grace is giving us abundant and eternal life.
3. God of all comfort - we are not talking about leisure or relaxation. We are talking about the one who binds all our wounds and heals our diseases (Ps 147:3 - He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds). He is the one who hugs us when our heart hurts, He cries with us when we lose a loved one, He embraces us with compassion, grace, and mercy.
He is the God who wipes away every tear (Re 7:17, 21:4). We often think of this in the future when we get to heaven. But it actually starts the day you believe and are baptized in Christ. Eternity starts today. It is completed when we all get to heaven where there is no more death or mourning or crying or pain. But that all starts when we put our faith and trust in our Lord and our God.
The image of God wiping away every tear is a beautiful and symbolic picture. The idea of God personally bending down and wiping our tears reminds us of how personal God’s care is for each one of us. Every reason to cry is taken away as God embraces us as a loving father who comforts his hurt child.
4. Who comforts us in our affliction - Whatever you are going through now, stop and think about who God is… the God who comforts (Theos pasēs paraklēseōs). It’s a part of who he is.
David recognized this in God. He said, Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (Ps. 23:4). We can live life fearlessly because God is the God who comforts.
The prophet Isaiah records God saying, ”Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Is 41:10)
God comforts us because he loves us… but he also has a purpose for us in giving us comfort. He wants us to give comfort to others in the same manner in which he comforts us… giving all of ourselves to comfort others in need with the love, grace, and mercies of God.