Merciful Comfort!

2 Cor 1:3-7 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. 6 Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 7 And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation.

One of the things we learn from experience is that trouble in life is inevitable. As believers in Christ however our response to trials or tribulation will define the depth of our faith in God. We are quick to give intellectual ascent that “…all things work together for good to those who love God…” (Rom. 8:28) but we seldom accept that often the “all things” consist of tribulation.
As we “grow in grace and knowledge of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18) we become increasingly confident in God’s goodness. We begin to recognize His purpose in our trials. One of the many purposes for God to bring trials into our lives is that as He comforts us, we trust Him increasingly more. In fact, God is continually equipping us through trouble to comfort others. God sends Himself “in us” – “to us!” (2 Cor 1:4)
As we mature, we recognize what it means to have God as “our Father.” We grow in intimacy with Him, trust Him, depend on Him, are conformed to His image, and eventually He will be glorify us. While we are here on this earth we merely know God “in part,” but when we see God “face to face” we will “know just as I also am [we are] known.” (1 Cor 13:12) The lyrics of “Farther Along” assure us that “We’ll understand it all by and by.”