“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
In the opening of the second letter to Corinth, Paul starts by giving praise to God the Father for his compassion and comfort. While the opening sentence alone serves as a beautiful reminder of God’s love for his children, Paul does not stop there but states that the same sweet comfort and solace that God shows us we are to demonstrate to others. Paul himself was no stranger to affliction, suffering with what he referred to as a “thorn in his flesh” (12:7). Throughout his letters, Paul uses the experience of his ailment to share the love and empathy he has experienced from God with the fledgling churches.
While we often do not understand our sufferings, in those times, we have all experienced the consolation of our Father. In our darkest hours, he times we feel spiritually and physically drained, God has been there to wrap us in his arms, providing a place of safety and refuge, a haven where we can experience His pure love. Let’s remember those times, and hold onto those feelings of God’s mercies. Soon, we will come across someone else in pain, someone else in a dark hour, that needs the reassurance of God’s love. When that happens, take the opportunity to shower, that friend, neighbor, coworker, with the same compassion and comfort God has shown us.
Our precious and loving Father, we give you praise. Thank you for all those times of suffering when you have been there to show us your mercy and provide us with your comfort. Let us be a shining example of your love for others. Please help us to demonstrate to them the same empathy and compassion you show us. In the name of your son Jesus Christ we pray.