- Chad Werkhoven
2 Corinthians 1:3-7 - Get Into Your Comfort Zone
Don't let the comforts in this world distract you from the true Comforter.
Read / Listen
Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 53
Q. What do you believe
concerning “the Holy Spirit”?
A. First, he, as well as
the Father and the Son,
is eternal God.
Second, he has been given
to me personally,
so that, by true faith,
he makes me share
and all his blessings,
and remains with me forever.
It might seem odd in the midst of a week in which we've been focused on the person and work of the Holy Spirit to read from a passage that doesn't seem to mention the Holy Spirit at all. Paul here certainly makes reference to God the Father, as well as the Lord Jesus Christ, but he seems to just ignore the third member of the Trinity.
Earlier this week we noted that the Holy Spirit is often referred to as the 'shy' member of the Trinity, since His role is to often focus our attention on the work of the Father and the Son, and in doing so the Spirit often stays in the background. So it's not all that surprising that the Spirit seems set to the side in this passage. But we also were reminded that the Holy Spirit really isn't all that shy, since He's the member of the Godhead we hear from the most, in that every word of the Bible was breathed out by Him.
In fact, the verses we read today are all about the Spirit! We read one reference to the Father, three references to the Son, and at least six references to the Holy Spirit! The reason you didn't notice Him right away is because He's camouflaged: He was never directly referred to, but He was described with the repetitive use of the Greek word paraklēsis, the word Jesus often uses to refer to the Holy Spirit, which is translated here as comfort. The Holy Spirit is the "God of all comfort (v3)."
You probably think of 'comfortable' as being a condition in which you have no pain or discomfort. The chair you fall asleep in is comfortable, whereas the one that hurts your back is uncomfortable. One dictionary defines comfort as 'freedom from pain or constraint."
So when hearing that the Bible refers to the Holy Spirit as the Comforter, you might be tempted to think He's not really present in your life because of how many uncomfortable aspects there are. A life filled with the Comforter ought to be filled with comfort, right?
But keep in mind the literal meaning of the Greek word paraklēsis: the para part means alongside (like a parapro, paralegal, and paramedic work alongside a teacher, lawyer and doctor), and klēsis means to call out. So the Holy Spirit is the one who comes alongside you in "in all your troubles" and calls out to you words of "comfort and salvation."
The reason people like us don't feel like we're experiencing the Holy Spirit as often as we'd like is because we're so distracted by the comforts we have in this world that we don't feel a need for "the God of all comfort." Make a habit of pushing those distractions away, so that that you can hear the Holy Spirit coming alongside you reminding you that your only comfort in life and in death is that you belong to your faithful Savior, Jesus Christ (keep reading v8-11 to see how the Holy Spirit brought this comfort to Paul when he "despaired of life itself").
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort (v1)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Thank God for the physical comforts He's given you, but pray that they don't distract you from the Holy Spirit coming alongside and calling out to you.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Romans 3