Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3–4 ESV)
God proclaims himself here as the God of all comfort. He is in the business of comforting Christians in all their afflictions. The note in my ESV Study Bible defines comfort as ”the overall disposition that comes from resting in God’s sovereign and loving rule as manifested in Christ’s lordship.” I am not quite knowledgeable enough to know if this disposition that is described in the above definition is a noun or not. And I am slightly too lazy to spend time studying this particular point. But the actual word comfort in the Bible is a noun and means a consolation, exhortation, encouragement, or strengthening. This comfort comes directly from God when he comes alongside us in our afflictions. In one sense, all of Scripture is meant to be a comfort to believers (Romans 15:4), and the Lord draws near to the suffering servant through this means.
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4 ESV)
My family has just risen out of the fires of affliction two weeks ago. The flames were hot and the oven seemed to be heated seven times more than it was usually heated (Daniel 3:19). Yet there one like the Son of God, who was walking with us in the midst of the fire (Daniel 3:25).
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction.” Jesus has been near to us as we have walked in the midst of the fire. We trust that the second part of the verse will come true in time: “so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
Blessed be the Lord!