“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” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
Mercy and Grace
True grace from God is a gift given to each of us with the purpose of it being given to others. We are children of God and are to be God like. What better way to act like God than distributing mercy, grace, righteousness and benefit to others? After all, isn’t that what Jesus meant in the great commandment to love God and our neighbor?
God is the “Father of mercies” and it is because He is merciful that he sheds His grace on us. If we are to be God like then we must be merciful as well. Paul at Corinth speaks of the mercy of comfort. God is the God of all (not some) comfort and He comforts us in all (not some) tribulations. Our job as children of God is to do the same. We are to distribute the grace of comfort to all regardless of the trial, tribulation or trouble.
“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me” (John 15:26).
Paul and his fellow laborers suffered many things and were often condemned for them. Then as in now, people will have an idea or ideal of a preacher, pastor, minister or a man of God. That concept held of the ideal pastor usually reflects perfection or their idea of perfection. Therefore any imperfections in the man of God are frowned upon and the man of God discounted or discredited.
Paul explains that what he has gone through, the trials and tribulations are being used as an instrument of good. He explains that the adversity he has experienced and the grace of God that comforted him during those times now enables him to comfort other people. This is a backbone tenet of Christianity. This is God’s grace of mercy and comfort being distributed by the child of God. This is what we are to do for all under any tribulation. “All” and “any” are key words.
“Even spiritual comforts are not given us for our use alone; they, like all the gifts of God, are given that they may be distributed, or become the instruments of help to others. A minister‘s trials and comforts are permitted and sent for the benefit of the Church. What a miserable preacher must he be who has all his divinity by study and learning, and nothing by experience! If his soul have not gone through all the travail of regeneration, if his heart have not felt the love of God shed abroad in it by the Holy Ghost, he can neither instruct the ignorant nor comfort the distressed.” (Adam Clarke)
“That the gifts, graces, and mercies that God bestowed upon his ministers, are bestowed upon them, not merely for their own use, but for the use and good of others; to enable them to be serviceable in doing good to others’ souls.” (Matthew Poole)
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