“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” (II Cor. 1:4).
Here, of course, the Apostle refers to believers. Our heavenly Father knows that we are frail creatures of dust, overwhelmed with sorrow, sickness and even death; not to mention the spiritual upheavals that come our way. Always sympathetic to our plight, He walks with us every step of life’s journey comforting us in all our tribulations. The tribulation cited here by the Apostle Paul is not a reference to the Tribulation Period known as The Time of Jacob’s Trouble. Paul is speaking of the personal tribulations he had encountered due to spiritual conflicts and poor health. Personal trials come in all forms: criticism, rejection, financial setbacks, sickness, bereavement, etc.
When sorrow overwhelms us like an ocean tide the Lord in His goodness is always present to comfort us in our time of need. But exactly how does God comfort us in the dispensation of Grace? We know for instance that the heavens are silent and that neither the Lord nor any of His angelic host visibly appear to minister to the saints today. During the administration of Grace the Lord, first of all, comforts us through His Word.
For example, the loss of a loved one is often difficult to bear except for the consolation available from the Word of God. The Lord has shown me that I need not sorrow as others who have no hope. Some day soon the trump will sound and the dead in Christ will be raised. Then we will be caught up together with all those departed loved ones who were saved, and so shall we ever be with the Lord! Little wonder Paul says, “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
Another way the Lord comforts us is by bringing someone into our lives at just the right moment to encourage us in those times of despair. Surely we have a precedent for this in the life of Paul himself. The intensity of the spiritual warfare at Ephesus and Macedonia had taken its toll on the Apostle, both physically and spiritually. “Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus” (II Cor. 7:5-7). The arrival of Titus was a direct result of Divine intervention to not only encourage Paul, but also that he might lend assistance in the work.
Finally, God does not comfort us to make us comfortable, but rather that we might comfort others. It has been given to us to carry on a ministry of encouragement to those who are in any trouble. Think of it, having already been the recipients of God’s consolation, He uses us to put our arm around that person who is ailing, battling an addiction, or facing a hardship and say to them, “I too faced this and the Lord saw me through it.” With hope we can face any thing. That’s why God has revealed to us the Blessed Hope that one day soon we shall be with Him. Truly He is the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort! source