Introduction: Paul now takes some time to explain, to a hurting church, why they sometimes suffer. He had just written a letter sharply rebuking this immature church family for their carnality. They finally got some things right and took care of some sin business that needed to be cared for. Through all of it, this church suffered some tremendous hurts. He assures them that God is the God of all comfort. In other words, He is a God Who comes to the weak and hurting with strength (com-with, fort-strength).
When we hurt, how does God comfort us? When others hurt, how does God comfort them? He does not come physically, so how does He choose to bring comfort when it is needed?
1. God gives strength to us through faith. - Hebrews 11:1
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
- Faith is the essence of the Christian life. Without faith, there is nothing. Through faith, there is everything we need.
- Comfort is one of those things we need. We all want and need comforting.
- We have a wonderful God Who cares for His own.
* "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." (1 Peter 5:7)
- When a Christian casts all his care upon the Lord, he is doing so by faith.
- He is putting his trust in the Lord, for he knows the Lord genuinely cares for him.
* "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5)
- The woman who touched the hem of the Lord's robe was given encouragement and comfort because of her faith. "But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour." (Matthew 9:22)
- This woman had suffered with a disease for twelve years. She had heard of the wonderful miracles of Jesus and believed that if she could but touch His clothing, she would be healed.
- This she did, and the Lord turned to her and encouraged her saying her faith had been rewarded.
- He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Hebrews 11:6)
2. God gives strength through the Scriptures. - Psalm 119:49-52
"Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from thy law. I remembered thy judgments of old, O LORD; and have comforted myself."
- A Christian can find comfort by going to the Bible. "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." (Romans 15:4)
- What great comfort that comes to the child of God when he is reminded of the gift of eternal life he has! What great comfort that comes to the child of God when he reads of the presence of God in his life! "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." (Hebrews 13:5)
- What great comfort that comes to the child of God when he is given the wonderful promises in the Word of God! "For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us." (2 Corinthians 1:20)
- * "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33)
- * "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not." (Jeremiah 33:3)
- It is a comfort that we can have God's power in our lives.
- It is a comfort that we can have God's leadership day by day.
- It is a comfort that we can have daily bread.
- It is a comfort that one day we will have a new body and be free from this one.
- It is a comfort that we can have the peace of God in the midst of tribulation.
- There is great comfort in the Scriptures!
3. God gives strength through others.
- All of us go through difficult times of great testing. The Apostle Paul wrote of the comfort others brought to him.
- * "Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation. For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears. Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus." (2 Corinthians 7:4-6)
- * "Therefore we were comforted in your comfort: yea, and exceedingly the more joyed we for the joy of Titus, because his spirit was refreshed by you all." (2 Corinthians 7:13)
* "But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts." (Ephesians 6:21-22)
- We are comforted by good news we hear of others, "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." (Proverbs 25:25)
- When I hear of Christians I have known and worked with in other places who are going on for the Lord, I am encouraged. It is a comfort to me. When I hear that you are growing in the Lord, it does me a world of good.
4. God gives strength through us. - 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation."
- "Wherefore comfort one another with these words." (1 Thessalonians 4:18)
- Tomorrow, you will cross the path of someone who may need some comforting, and you could give it to them.
- Why not decide to be a blessing instead of a burden. You will find it easier to carry the burdens of others than carry your own, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)
Conclusion: Praise the Lord, we have the God of all comfort! There is no one here who does not need comforting from time to time. He cares about you and what you go through from day to day.