God Of All Comfort

March 2, 2012


ILLUSTRATION: {On July 10, 2018, there was a report on the Economic Times website with the headline: ‘89%of India’s population suffering from stress.’

That’s about 9 out of 10 Indians!

The global average is 86%.

Also, about 75% of the people suffering from stress don’t feel comfortable to take medical help.

The main reasons for stress among Indians are work and finances.


While some people require the professional help of a counselor, much of our stress will be cured if only we come to God and receive his comfort and strength.

Today’s text tells us that our God is the God of all comfort.

Would you take God’s Word and turn your Bibles with me to 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 & John 14:16?

I have entitled today’s sermon as: “GOD OF ALL COMFORT.”

CENTRAL PROPOSITION OF THE TEXT: In this passage (2 Cor. 1:3-4), Paul praises God for comforting him and others so that they can comfort others.

FALLEN CONDITION FOCUS: Already dealt with.

THE PURPOSE BRIDGE: To encourage the members of EAGC to receive God’s comfort through the Holy Spirit when they are afflicted.

CENTRAL PROPOSITION OF THE SERMON: When you are afflicted, receive God’s comfort which is mediated through the Spirit.


Refer 2 Cor. 1:3-4.

Generally, Paul begins his letters with a salutation followed by thanksgiving.

However, in this letter, after the salutation, he praises God for comforting him.

Read 2 Cor. 1:3.

He blesses (ESV) or praises (NIV) “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Even in the midst of difficult circumstances, Apostle Paul praised God for his character.

Paul’s circumstances were not good, but he understood that the Lord who is control of Paul’s circumstances was good.

Thus, he praised God!

Here, Paul refers to the Father as “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

When Jesus became a human, the Father became Jesus’ God.

We find this in John 20:17 (refer) and Mk 15:34 (refer) too.

However, from eternity, God has always been Jesus’ Father.

Once, we were enemies of God.

But when we receive Christ as our Lord, God becomes our Father too!

Paul goes on to emphasize two attributes of God, namely, God’s mercy/compassion (read Ps. 145:9—compassion in NIV; read i) and God’s comfort (quote Isa. 66:13).

The phrase “the Father of mercies” has two meanings.

One, it means that God is the Originator of mercies.

Mercy or compassion flows from God himself.

Secondly, it simply means that our God is a merciful Father.

Paul personally experienced acute affliction (read 2 Cor. 1:8-9), but he also experienced God’s comfort.

Some think that God is always angry and ready to punish us as soon as we make a mistake.

However, the Bible presents the God of the universe as a gracious, compassionate, and merciful God.

In our text, Paul says that God is the “God of all comfort.”

So, when Paul says that the Father is the “God of all comfort,” he is talking about God from his personal experience.

The Lord gave him comfort when he was afflicted due to some difficult situation.

In this case, Titus’ coming to Paul and his positive report about the Corinthians gave him comfort (refer 2 Cor. 7:4-7).

One of the paradoxes of the Christian life is that we experience the grace of God when we are afflicted and are weak (refer 2 Cor. 12:9).

Our God is the “God of all comfort.”

Read 2 Cor. 1:4.

The Greek word that Paul uses for ‘affliction’ is ‘thlipsis’ which literally means pressure or burden.

Read Matthew 11:28.

Paul says that God comforts us in all our affliction.

No matter what affliction we face and no matter how severe our afflictions are, God can comfort us in all our afflictions.

The phrase “comforts us in all our affliction” is in the present continuous tense.

That means that God continually comforts us in our afflictions.

People may comfort us for a certain period of time, but the Lord keeps comforting us until we are strengthened.

The noun ‘comfort’ or the verb ‘to comfort’ appears 10 times in 2 Cor. 1:3-7 (refer).

This word is derived from the Greek word, ‘paraklesis.’

It doesn’t mean mere sympathy.

Rather, it communicates the idea of a person who is called (‘kaleo’) alongside (‘para’) his friend and the one encourages his friend.

The same root word is used to describe the Holy Spirit as well (refer Jn 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7).

Even Jesus is referred to as our ‘Paraclete’ (read 1 Jn 2:1).

There are several Scriptures which emphasize how God comforts us.

For the next few minutes, I want us to feast on the awesome promises in God’s Word.

Read Isaiah 51:12.

Quote Psalm 23:4.

Read Psalm 94:19.

Read Psalm 119:76.

Read Psalm 147:3.

Read Luke 2:25: Simeon was “waiting for the consolation of Israel” and through Christ’s coming, we experience God’s comfort in a special way.

Praise God for Christ!

Quote Matthew 5:4.

The early Church experienced the comfort of the Spirit (read Acts 9:31).

Praise God, for he doesn’t leave us in our afflictions.

Rather, he comforts us in our afflictions.


Refer 2 Cor. 1:4.

Paul sees his afflictions as beneficial.

Apostle Paul says that his afflictions helped him to rely on God (read 2 Cor. 1:9).

Along with that, his afflictions enabled him to comfort others who were afflicted (read 2 Cor. 1:4).

Just as spiritual gifts are given for the benefit of others (cf. 1 Pet. 4:10), we are comforted so that we comfort others who are in affliction.

God wants his people to comfort one another.

We read that God comforted Paul through Titus’ coming to Macedonia (refer 2 Cor. 7:6).

Then, Paul says that Titus was comforted by the Corinthians (refer 2 Cor. 7:7).

Then, Paul looks forward to comforting the Corinthians with the comfort he received from God (read 2 Cor. 1:6).

Read Isa. 40:1: God commissions Isaiah to comfort his people.

Read 1 Thess. 5:11: Apostle Paul tells the believers at Thessalonica to encourage one another.

When we receive comfort from the Lord, it should not stop with us.

We must be channels of comfort for others.

ILLUSTRATION: {William Barclay tells of a person named Barrie.

Barrie’s mother lost her son (Barrie’s brother) and this is what Barrie says about his mother: “That is where my mother got her soft eyes and why other mothers ran to her when they had lost a child.”}

Even Jesus is able to help us because he experienced sufferings (read Heb. 2:18).

Like Barnabas, we must be people of encouragement (refer to Acts 4:36).

ILLUSTRATION: Our 14-month-old daughter, Karis’ sweet smile and her innocence give me a lot of comfort and joy when I go through stress in ministry.

If each of us can be a source of comfort and encouragement to others, imagine how vibrant our homes, our church, and society would be!

We believe the Lord’s promise in Romans 8:28 (refer).

When we go through afflictions, the Lord can use our afflictions to be a blessing to others.

So, let’s be channels of comfort to others.


Read John 14:16.

As we saw earlier, even in other passages of Scripture, the Spirit is called ‘Paraclete’ (refer Jn 14:26; 15:26; 16:7).

As I mentioned earlier, the Greek word for ‘Helper’ here is ‘Paraclete.’

The Spirit comes alongside us, comforts us, and encourages us.

Jesus says that the Father will give “another Helper.”

There are two Greek words for the word ‘another’: ‘heteros’ and ‘allos.’

‘Heteros’ means another of a different kind.

ILLUSTRATION: {For example, the other day, when Susan and I went to purchase a sweater for Karis, the shopkeeper was showing us round-neck sweaters.

So, we said to the shopkeeper, “Don’t show us just round-neck sweaters. Please show us sweaters with buttons or zip so that it will be easy to dress her up.”

That’s ‘heteros,’ another of a different kind.}

‘Allos’ means another of the same kind.

ILLUSTRATION: {For instance, since it’s the monsoon season now, you go to a panipuri shop and ask for a plate of panipuri.

You enjoy hot and spicy panipuris and ask for ‘another’ plate.

You’re asking for another plate of panipuris with a similar taste.

That’s ‘allos,’ another of the same kind.}

When Jesus says that the Father will send “another Helper,” he’s using the word ‘allos’ here.

The Father sent another Helper who has exactly the same essence as Jesus.

Jesus was with the disciples for 3 years.

He taught them, discipled them, and even comforted them during difficult times.

And now since his time to go to the Father had come (refer Jn 14:1-4), Jesus promises that the Father will send another Helper who is just like Jesus.

Jesus goes on to say that this Helper will be them “forever.”


While Jesus was with the disciples for only 3 years during his earthly ministry, his presence will be mediated to the disciples through the Spirit, forever!

Today, we receive comfort from God through the indwelling presence of the Spirit.

What an awesome privilege!


CENTRAL PROPOSITION OF THE SERMON: When you are afflicted, receive God’s comfort which is mediated through the Spirit.

ILLUSTRATION: {I still remember the painful incident that happened on July 1, 2006, more than 12 years ago.

I was studying at a Bible college (SABC) at that time.

On that Saturday morning, as I returned to my room from the library, I got a call saying that my mother died due to a heart attack.

It was difficult for me to process and digest this news because less than 4 months ago, on March 14, 2006, we lost our Dad due to brain hemorrhage.

I kept weeping even as I wondered as to how the Lord allowed this to happen.

I packed my luggage, and my friend and I started to the airport on his bike.

As I was sitting on the bike, I kept weeping, but at the same time, I was experiencing great peace within my heart.

I literally felt the Holy Spirit coming alongside me and comforting me.

The comfort and strength that I received are unexplainable.}

Saints, no matter what afflictions you are facing this morning, the Holy Spirit will come alongside you and comfort you.

Receive his comfort and encouragement today.

The Spirit will be with you forever!

And as you receive his comfort, be a blessing to others by comforting them in their affliction.