The God of All Comfort

Read: 2 Corinthians 1:1-11

Blessed be the . . . God of all comfort. (v. 3)

In his memoir A Heart That Works, Rob Delaney begins with a challenge to the reader. Imagine, he says, that your beloved child has contracted a deadly disease and you are forced to watch, helpless, as they die. Delaney begins this way because his book is about the loss of his own child to cancer. He concludes, “Grief . . . makes me want to make you understand.”

When you are struggling or suffering, the most comforting person is usually the one who understands you best. The one who has experienced something like what you are going through. Someone who has been where you are. Someone who has felt what you feel.

In the first seven verses of 2 Corinthians, the apostle Paul uses the word comfort or comforted ten times. In this challenging and theologically complex letter, he is reintroducing the living God. Who is this God? The “God of all comfort” (v. 3). But how can the almighty, all-knowing creator and ruler of the universe offer comfort to a sinful, struggling human race? How can God understand us? He became one of us. In the person of Jesus Christ, God “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). He lived a full human life, from infancy to adulthood. He was poor, misunderstood, marginalized, and mistreated. He died alone and in agony. Jesus has been where you are and felt what you feel. Turn to him for comfort. He understands.

As you pray, seek comfort in the God who knows exactly what you are going through.

About the Author

Ben Van Arragon is the Minister of Worship and Leadership at Plymouth Heights Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He preaches and teaches the Bible in church, online, and anywhere else he has the opportunity.

This entry is part 1 of 15 in the series 2 Corinthians: Shining through the Cracks