September 5

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

This could be the motto of chaplains and many other pastoral ministries, but it is for all Christians. Paul calls God the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. Here is a wonderful difference between Christianity and most other faiths. The God of the Bible is compassionate. The so-called gods of many other faiths are like those in Paul's world, dispassionate and unconcerned. They merely demand obedience, submission, and worship. Our God is loving and compassionate. His desire for our submission comes from his compassion and love. To submit to Him is to find the best path for our lives.

He comforts us in all our troubles. No matter what we are enduring, we find that our Savior is there to encourage and direct us. Even when we are suffering because of our own sin, we find that He is there to comfort and guide us to victory. Then He encourages us to share that comfort with others who are in trouble. We take the comfort God has given us and share it with the world. The verse that He used to encourage you, you then use to encourage others. That insight that blessed your soul, you use to bless another person. God sovereignly arranges you to meet people who are going through things like those which you have experienced.

We suffer for being Christians, for bearing His name, because our obedience causes us loss and abuse from the world. That is an overflow of the sufferings of Christ. We share in his sufferings because we endure things we otherwise would not endure if we were not obedient to Him. In the same way we share the comfort we receive by being in Him. It is an overflow of the God of all comfort.

Remember: Watch for opportunities to let His comfort to you overflow into the lives of those He brings into your life.