"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of all mercies and God of all comfort;
who comforts us in all our affliction..."
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4a)
2 Corinthians just sort of landed in my lap. My normal m.o. is to study through a book, then study 10 Psalms, then head to another book. Normally I have planned out my course well in advance - this time I finished Psalm 110 and realized "Whoa, where am I heading next?"
I did what I NEVER do - I flipped my Bible open and landed in 2 Corinthians.
Staring at its pages, I thought: "Well, I haven't done an indepth study there in several years. So, why not?!" Boy, am I glad I did. Paul's words - inspired by the Holy Spirit - have been a providential proclamation to my storm tossed soul. They have been exactly what I have needed precisely when I have needed them.
Chapter 1 fell out to me on a morning that I needed to be reminded of God's mercy, comfort and purpose in our afflictions. I have never skirted around the fact that 2009 was a trying year for me. 2010 finds me being pulled out of a deep period of testing by the mercies of a God who has repeatedly proven His character to a very, very weak daughter. That is what 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 is all about.
After the salutation of grace and peace, which Paul is famous for, he flows straight into praise - which he is also famous for - and which we should pray to be enabled to emulate! His words: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of all mercies and God of all comfort."
God is worthy of our praise - primarily because He is God! Enough said! It could end there! That sums up the bottom line of why we should bless His name. But, Paul doesn't leave us there with just an honest declaration - he makes it practical. He gives us deeply encouraging and incredibly tangible reasons for praise.
Yes, God is God - but see from these verses just what kind of God He is. Our God is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is this Father of Christ whom we are to praise. It is God the Father who has loved us enough to send Jesus the Son as our Savior. This whole salvific affair was His idea. It was His doing and His orchestrating that sent Christ to save us. Is that not worthy of our deepest praise? Resounding YES!!
Secondly (as if we needed something more), this God who is the Father of our Lord Jesus is also the Father of ALL mercies! If you have received mercy it has come from God. If you need mercy God is the fount from which it must flow. And you do need mercy, as do I. We don't comprehend nearly enough just how much we need mercy! It is not "fair" that we need - or we will all find ourselves condemned to hell by a just and holy God - it is mercy that we so desperately need - marvelous mercy. Mercy to free us from our sin. Mercy to free us from our sorrow. Mercy is what we most need and mercy is what He graciously gives. He is worthy of my praise for He, the Father of Jesus, is the Father of all mercies.
Thirdly, this God who is the Father of our Lord Jesus and the Father of all mercies is also the God of all comfort. It is in God alone that I can find true rest from my arduous labors, true peace from the raging war, and true consolation from those things which so terribly weigh me down. God alone can truly bind up the wounds of my soul. God alone can fully understand what I am facing and therefore can provide for me exactly what I need. He is worthy of my praise for He is the God of ALL comfort.
Oh, friend are you disconsolate? There is a Comforter. Are you overwhelmed by guilt and plagued with despair over your sins? There is a Father of Mercies. Are you in need of help that you are incapable of providing for yourself? There is a Savior - the Lord Jesus Christ - sent by this very Father, God.
All true comforts, all true mercies, all true salvation comes from Him. Bless His name weary one it is He who mercifully comforts you in your afflictions.
Finding mercy and comfort in my Heavenly Father,