by J. Randal Matheny
“Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we may be able to comfort those experiencing any trouble with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NET
Five times. In one long sentence of the opening of 2 Corinthians, Paul uses the noun or verb form of “comfort” five times.
Perhaps in the previous letter he had written, which may not have been preserved and would be the “sorrowful letter” he mentions in 2:4, great pain had been caused among the Corinthian saints.
Now, after their repentant attitude, he seeks to comfort them.
What better comfort than to remember that God is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ? That Father who sent his only Son to die in our stead. That Father who heard his Son call him with his last breath.
At the Cross is our deepest and permanent comfort.
A comfort that finds purpose in suffering, mercy in pain, a balm for every bruise, strength to break out of pity and embrace the troubles of our neighbor.
A comfort that smiles before the tears are dry, finds joy before the throbbing subsides, hears forgiveness in the agonies of sin, discovers hope in the sobs of crisis and loss.
Blessed be such a God, who provides us this table, this bread, this cup, this fellowship, this grace!
The Cross is the place to find our deepest and permanent comfort.