The God of all Comfort
2. Corinthians 1:1-14
von Andreas Eichberger
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort
2. Korinther 1:3
Paul introduces God to the corinthians as the Father of all comfort. Also Jesus makes his disciples aware of this: "The Father himself loves you" (John 16:27)! You don't need to talk Him into compassion, because He is the author of it from the beginning on (Exodus 34:6). In Jesus, God Himself took the initiative for our reconcilliation to Him (2. Corinthians 5:19). It is a precious thing to be comforted by God himself; maybe in a moment where we treat ourselves with reproaches, expecting the same of God. Our heavenly Father is the best counselor and so we can learn quite a bit in this paragraph about Him and about the treat between ourselves.
1. People in trouble don't need admonition before anything else, they need comfort and support. Even Jesus heals the lame before admonishing him not to sin anymore (John 5:14). The trouble of Paul was not to attribute to his guilt but to his dedication to Jesus.
2. Conversely it is said that the proud and rich don't need to be comforted. Jesus says that they have already received their comfort here on earth (Luke 6:24). Often though, strong people are being pitied, whereas the weak are being strictly reproved and "educated". This should not be like this!
3. A Christian is able serve others with the comfort he himself has received. This then is an effective encouragement for it is not a mere theory. To some readers, this may be the answer to the question of why they had or still have to undergo certain difficult situations.
4. This comfort does not always help you out of a certain suffering, but in this suffering. God's main interest is to strengthen our trust in Him. This is often the pre-condition for further changes. Therefore, we shouldn't pray too airily for relief, yet first for faith and encouragement. Right in this letter, Paul gives insight to his hardships and despair (verse 8), something that does not really fit into the image of a Christian hero. How important was the comfort of God to him and the prayers of the corinthians (verse 11)!
Emotional healing often preceeds the physical one:
Some years ago, the wife of an elder of my former church and mother of several children went to be prayed for because of the cancer she suffered. When returning to her seat, she noticed that her panicking fears and the paralizing sorrows had disappeared so she could trust God again to make things well. A short time later, her doctor told her that he didn't find any signs of cancer anymore.