In 2 Corinthians Chapter 1:3 Paul says ‘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 receive from God.’
‘The God of all comfort’: Note that it is not some comfort, but of all comfort. This does not mean our troubles are removed from us but that God, if we allow Him to, will come alongside us and comfort us with His presence. Psalm 34:18 tells us ‘the Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.’ We can draw encouragement from this in that no matter how low or afflicted we feel God cares, understands and is ready to provide all comfort.
And when God’s comfort has helped us to recover from our troubles or accept irreversible situations, it is then that we can help others from our own experience to find the presence of our all-comforting God. And surely this is a part of what God’s church should be about?
Not only should we be lifting up troubled folk in prayer but we should be pro-active in bringing the knowledge of God’s comfort to them, and, of course, providing practical assistance if there is any need which can be met. That is what being part of a church family should mean. A caring church….can we say that of Derriford Church today?
– Phil Brewer