I have been told recently to read through 2 Corinthians and allow the Holy Spirit to minister to me through this time of reading. I started with chapter one and I haven’t gotten past the 7th verse without having to stop and discover what is being said to me.
2 Corinthian 1:3-7 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 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. 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.
Throughout these first verses I am reading over and over again the word comfort. In contrast are the words troubles, sufferings and distressed.
We face times in our lives when things occur that discourage us. Being discouraged takes the wind out of our sails. Times discouragement can knock us flat on our butts. When I face these times I do not want to do anything. I am not happy. I tend to moan and groan about my situation to anyone that will listen. I become unhappy.
What gets me out my funk? Encouragement. To have someone come along side and help me and to cheer me up. The Greek word for comfort is paraklesis which means to come alongside. The Latin word for comfort is cum-fortis, which means with strength.
As I am facing my times of trouble, those times when I feel alone and discouraged I know that I am not by myself. As I face times of testing, tribulation and trouble I know I have help. And when I am feeling my weakest I know that I can be strengthened.
Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.