2 Corinthians 1:3-4 – 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. (KJV)
Each of us, at some time in the past, has found the need to lean on the comfort and encouragement of someone else. All of us have found that in a difficult situation, or perhaps even in the middle of a major tragedy in our lives, that we could not make it through on our own. At those times, we have relied upon the strength and comfort of fellow Christians and family members to help pull us through. As Christians, we probably found ourselves leaning heavily upon the outstretched arms of our Lord. Whether directly receiving comfort from Him in our prayers, or indirectly receiving comfort from Him through another person whom He has placed in our path, God is our comfort.
Having been a direct recipient of this comfort from God, I have come to truly understand today's scripture verses. God is indeed the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, as stated in verse 3, but He also expects that we reciprocate that comfort and mercy by sharing it with others. When we receive comfort and mercy from our Father, it then becomes our responsibility and charge to share that same comfort with others who are in need. If we see a family member or friend struggling with some aspect of their life, God calls us reach out to them with loving arms to embrace their struggles and pain. Sometimes, however, I think we do fail to pass along the blessings and love that God has showered upon us. Perhaps we feel so comfortable when we keep that love and mercy to ourselves, or perhaps we allow our own problems to blind us from seeing the pain that others may be enduring.
The true blessing in receiving comfort and mercy from God, however, really comes when we pass it along to someone else. Recently my parents have been hit with a major "snag" in their lives. Having them call me in search of comfort and prayer was actually more of a blessing for me than for them. When we are obedient in sharing with others what God has given to us, He is always faithful and just to bless us even more. Sometimes the blessing simply comes in the warm feeling received; other times God may abundantly bless us in other ways.
Sharing God's comfort is even more crucial when we see an unsaved person hurting, because such a person lacks that personal relationship with God. Without that relationship with Him, a person cannot and does not lean upon Him for help and strength. That is why it is so important for us to share with such individuals. Perhaps by seeing God's love with them by us, they may come to seek that love in a more personal way.
Sometimes a simple smile and a prayer is all the comfort that someone needs, and I think we all have at least that much to offer.
Prayer: Father of mercies, and God of all comfort, we thank You for Your strong hands which always hold us up. We ask that You continue to give us comfort in our struggles and tribulations, and we pray that You will give us the desire and the opportunity to share that comfort and mercy with someone else. Amen.