(An excerpt from Revelation Volume 3 by Paul M. Sadler)
“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (2 Cor. 1:3,4).
Whatever trials and sorrows you may encounter in life, God wants you to know that He is the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. But exactly how does the Lord comfort us in our time of need? He does so in unique ways in this administration of Grace.
It is comforting to know that, because we have a personal relationship with Christ, we can speak with our heavenly Father about all the things that are on our hearts. Prayer is communication with God. It’s the channel through which the finite has access to the infinite. Having been accepted in God’s beloved Son, we have access to talk with God at any time. Moreover, when we meditate on the Scriptures, God often comforts us through His written Word.
Oftentimes, the Lord consoles us by bringing someone into our lives to encourage us. Many times it is a believer who has experienced the same adversity that we are facing. The world can be unmerciful in its attacks when we faithfully stand for the truth. This accounts for some of the sufferings we endure for the cause of Christ.
Then there are those occasions when we are comforted by the arrival of good news. Perhaps it takes the form of diagnostic tests that come back negative, or an answer to prayer.
It is also comforting to know that the Lord’s people are keeping us before the throne of Grace in our hour of need. It’s reassuring to realize that we do not need to bear our burdens alone.
When finally we are delivered from our affliction, whatever form it may take, we are given a very special ministry by God. We are now in the position to comfort those who are hurting. The Lord doesn’t comfort us merely to be comfortable, but that we might also comfort others. Having passed through affliction ourselves, we are able to relate better to what someone else is facing.
I remember making a hospital visit when one of the brethren from our local assembly stopped by. During the course of the conversation, he shared how, years earlier, he had had the same surgery that the one we were visiting was going to have. Almost immediately he had the patient’s undivided attention. Nothing I would’ve said could have ministered more effectively than the testimony of that dear brother in Christ.
Consider for a moment the greatness of God. He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things in heaven and earth. When we peer into the night sky, we see His handiwork; the heavens are immense and reflect His glory (Psa. 19:1). The galaxies of stars that dot the heavens, He created and gave each of them a name. Such power and knowledge, as David said, is beyond our comprehension (Psa. 139:1-6; 147:5). But this same God, who is above all, has taken a personal interest in you and me (Psa. 8:4). That’s grace!
Like the weaver who weaves a beautiful tapestry, God is methodically creating for the Church today an image of His divine purpose. Because we are currently on the wrong side of eternity, things can be difficult to understand. But soon all things will be made clear when we are caught up into the glory of His presence and see the finished tapestry of His grace
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.