Monday, January 21, 2008

The God of all Comfort

The memory verse for church next week is 2 Corinthians 1.3, the first verse in the following passage...

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, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
2 Corinthians 1.3-5

This is one of those passages that has been especially dear to me at many times over the years. Don't you just love those passages that the Lord brings back to you over and over again?

My first memory of this passage is sitting in the waiting room with my Papa, while my precious Mama was in surgery having a radical mastectomy for breast cancer. It was the summer before my tenth grade year, and I was definitely feeling that world-turned-upside-down feeling. As we sat together, this is the passage that Papa shared with me. My recollection is of him sharing that no matter what happened, God wanted to use it. Both in our lives ("who comforts us in all our affliction") and in the lives of others ("so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction").

Everytime I read this passage now, I am challenged. Am I accepting His comfort? Am I comforting others with the comfort with which He has comforted me?

Some other precious lessons linked to this verse came from reading the book The God of All Comfort by Hannah Whitall Smith. It's a terrific little book recommended to me by one of my favorite women, Kathy Staley. It goes through many of the names of God, and is an encouraging and challenging read. Check it out if you haven't yet read it.

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