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The God of All Comfort November 10, 2011

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on 2 Corinthians 1:3-11.

Summary: Paul begins by praising God the Father as He who redeems; he characterizes Him as being full of compassion and able to give us peace of mind. Indeed, God has comforted Paul in the midst of his external – and internal – afflictions, allowing him to comfort others who experience similar difficulties. This stems from the fact that while believers endure the sufferings that afflicted Christ, their union with Him allows them to experience great comfort. In fact, Paul’s troubles allow the Corinthians to be comforted – and saved; their bond with him enables them to experience the consolation that he has received, allowing them to patiently endure the troubles that are an integral part of the Christian life. He has a steadfast hope that they will share in his joy, since they join him in suffering as Christians. Now Paul notes the troubles that he endured in the province of Asia, where he was pushed to the point of doubting his chances of survival. At that time, he felt condemned to die – yet even though his own abilities could not rescue him from impending death, God effectively brought him back from the dead. Indeed, God delivered Paul from those fearful trials, and He continues to deliver him from them; moreover, he is confident that God will rescue him in the future. Paul concludes by noting that his future rescue – by God’s grace – would follow the prayers of various churches on his behalf; these prayers lead to God’s deliverance, allowing those who pray to give thanks for His blessings.

Thoughts: In this passage, Paul praises God for being the God of comfort. Hodge offers some thoughts on why Paul needed comfort in his commentary on verse 10:

Though he had been delivered from the instant and fearful death with which he was threatened, the danger was not over. The machinations of his enemies followed him wherever he went. He, therefore, says that God had not only delivered but continued to deliver him. He was still beset with danger.

This demonstrates that the comfort that Paul refers to in this passage greatly surpasses the mere comfort that one would desire over the course of a “bad day.” God is not only the God who can encourage believers after, say, a rough day at the office – but He promises to sustain us and deliver us even in the face of death. Though Paul would be eventually beheaded in Rome – showing that God did not allow him to escape an “instant and fearful death” – he knew that God would secure him for eternity. We know that God will comfort us and remind us of our eternal security in Him, no matter what difficulties we face in this life.

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