Daily Devotion 14 May 2021
2 Corinthians 1:3-7 ‘The Comfort of God’
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
When my grandchildren were small, on occasion we picked them up from school. If Sam saw that another child was sad, it upset him and sometimes he would go quietly across and put his arms gently around the one in tears. No words were spoken but the compassion was there and it often seemed helpful. Now Sam is in his twenties and well over six feet tall, he no longer puts his arms around strangers but he is still a caring young man.
This memory came back to me when I heard a hymn on the radio recently. Each verse begins ‘God is love’ (StF103) and the words that particularly struck me were:
And when human hearts are breaking
under sorrow’s iron rod,
then they find that self-same aching
deep within the heart of God.
God feels all our pain and sorrow with us and he brings us comfort. It’s who he is, what he does. But too often what we want is not God’s comfort in grief and pain, rather we want to avoid the suffering. We often don’t trust enough that real comfort will come from God in our pain and grief. We just want to avoid troubles and be comfortable. Worldly comfort that merely involves avoiding pain, ignoring grief, is empty comfort, and not really comfort at all. God comforts us in our affliction. He is a God who draws near, as Jesus did on the road to Emmaeus on Resurrection Sunday (Luke 24). God alone gives us the kind of comfort that leads to hope.
Paul tells us in the passage above that God ‘comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God’. We must pass on that kind of life-changing comfort to others through loving and nurturing relationships in their times of suffering and it is what we, as the Body of Christ, should be doing for one another all the time.
Lord God, our heavenly Father,
when we are suffering, in pain and grieving, overwhelm us with Your peace.
Lead us to you, our rock.
Guide us to your word which gives us strength and refuge.
Help us not to run to lesser things.
Draw us to run to you first.
Show us how we can bring your healing comfort to others in their troubles and give us the strength to do so.
This we pray in Jesus’ Name.
Reflection and Prayer © 2021 Ann Caffyn.
Image freely available online.
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