Bible Verse: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction… 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 1:1-11

What does Paul turn to when he suffers? He turns to the truth about God: God is a compassionate, encouraging God.

Our hope is not in our circumstances, or in the people who surround us. Our hope is grounded in the very nature of God himself.

Sometimes when we suffer we ask, “Where is God?” It’s easy to think that God is distant and disconnected from what we’re going through. We think that God doesn’t care, and that he’s abandoned us to our problems.

Paul reminds us that God isn’t like that. God is the God of comfort. It’s not just what God does; it’s who he is. He has deep awareness of and concern for your suffering. He’s also a God who knows how to comfort and console.

The word comfort here isn’t just the idea of saying, “Here, here. I feel your pain.” It’s the act of strengthening those who need it. “God’s comfort strengthens weak knees and sustains sagging spirits so that one faces the troubles of life with unbending resolve and unending assurance” (David Garland).

You may wonder in the middle of suffering if God really cares. Paul assures us: God really does. He has not abandoned you to what you’re going through. He knows and he cares. Nothing you’re going through has escaped his notice. As Psalm 56:8 reminds us, God pays careful attention to every restless night, every tear you shed. God isn’t distant. God cares.

The greatest evidence of this is Jesus. If you’re ever looking for evidence that God really cares, then you just have to look at Jesus. He did everything to make us right with God, including becoming one of us and giving his life for us.

We never have to wonder if God cares or not. He’s shown us that he does. God is a compassionate, encouraging God.

Darryl Dash, founding pastor of Liberty Grace Church in Toronto, ON

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