Having finished Philemon, I am now moving on to 2nd Corinthians. I have read through 2nd Corinthians many times and reference it a lot but have not yet done a deliberate study of the book. I know this because I have not highlighted it. Look here at the difference between Philemon and 2 Corinthians.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of sympathy (pity and mercy) and the God [Who is the Source] of every comfort (consolation and encouragement), 4 Who comforts (consoles and encourages) us in every trouble (calamity and affliction), so that we may also be able to comfort (console and encourage) those who are in any kind of trouble or distress, with the comfort (consolation and encouragement) with which we ourselves are comforted (consoled and encouraged) by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 [AMP]
I really love the description of the Lord by Paul here right at the beginning of this book.
Attributes of God called out by Paul:
- Not just a ‘Sunny Day’ God -> He is with us in the best and worst times.
The reason these couple of verses hit me a little harder than normal today is partly because of a book I just started reading call ‘The Insanity of God’ by Nik Ripkin. This book is about a missionary to Africa (Somalia) that tells of his and his family’s stories and how God shows up in the worst of circumstances. So, if I am getting precise, my chewing today is specifically on this portion ->
“[ESV]…who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
God comforts us in the worst of times, so that we can comfort others in the worst of their times, with the comfort God shows us when we are comforted by Him. Just dwell on that saying it over and over again in your mind.
First – am I paying attention to the comforting hand of God when I am in painful circumstances? Second – does this acknowledgement translate into seeking out others in pain who I can come along and comfort with the same loving comfort God has shown me? For Nik Ripkin, he and his wife Ruth would actually put themselves in harm’s way to help the war torn, famine stricken, and hopeless Somali people. This all comes down to having a heart that is filled with the love of God; filled to the point that everything I think and desire to do is what He thinks and desires of me. Praying today that God would continue to help me see how much I and others need Him even thought I live comfortably here in the United States, with food on my table, a roof over my head, money in my bank, and a healthy family…none of which the Somali people had in the timeframe this “Insanity of God” book was written.