“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.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
The words, trouble and comfort, stand out repeatedly in this passage, and the two always go together. Trouble is what we today would probably call pressure or stress. It is what many of you, perhaps, are feeling right now when you think about going to work….
It is whatever ties knots in your stomach and makes you feel anxious or frightened about what lies ahead. It is what makes for hectic days and sleepless nights. It gnaws continually at your mind and threatens your well-being; it refuses to go away and leave you alone; it depresses you and darkens the future with forebodings of disaster.
Comfort is more than just a little cheer or friendly word of encouragement. The word basically means
to strengthen. What Paul experienced was the strengthening of God to give him a peaceful, restful spirit to meet the pressure and stress with which he lived. It is amazing to me how many Christians dread facing their daily lives because they feel pressured and stressful and tied up in knots, and yet they never avail themselves of God’s provision for that kind of pressure. These words are not addressed to us merely to be used for religious problems. They are to be used for any kind of stress, any kind of problems. God’s comfort, God’s strengthening, is available for whatever creates stress in your life.