2 Corinthians 1:3-5
“Blessed by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; 4 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. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.”
When life is tiring, when you are struggling with your sin, when family members aren’t saved, when bills aren’t paid, when school is difficult, when work is exhausting, when your health is failing, when your loved ones are hurt, when the future is unsure, and when a good friend leaves, it is easy to be discouraged.
Discouragement is a thief. It steals your vitality, your zeal, your joy, your peace, and your contentment. If discouragement dwells long with you, its friends will soon join. Their names are fatigue, hopelessness, despair, self-pity, depression, doubt, and bitterness. Sometimes, discouragement can be so strong that you even don’t want to go on living.
Discouragement is dissatisfaction with the past, distaste for the present, and distrust of the future. It is the result of blindness. It is ingratitude for the blessings of yesterday, indifference to the opportunities of today, and insecurity regarding strength for tomorrow. It is unawareness of the presence of God, unconcern for the needs of our fellow man, and unbelief in the promises of His Word.
If we have nothing to rely on, or we forget our blessing and look to our circumstances, then that is when discouragement begins to take hold. Instead, what we need is encouragement. We need hope and peace and the knowledge that the Lord knows our troubles has great concern and compassion for us and is not leaving us unloved or uncared for.
Keeping your eyes on Jesus is the best way to be encouraged. In Him you can have comfort and peace and encouragement. You need to find Him and His words, and by faith rest in Him.
- Be encouraged because God is a God of mercy and comfort. Verse 3. Blessed by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort
- Take encouragement because God is there in your afflictions. Verse 4 – “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.”
- YOU SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED BECAUSE YOU CAN BE INSTRUMENTS OF COMFORT TO OTHERS. Verse 4 ” . . . 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.”
- You should be encouraged because the comfort you receive from God comes through Jesus. Verse 5. “For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.”
Encouragement is something that belongs to you as a Christian. You do not have to live in a world of hurt and doubt. You don’t have to live alone. You don’t have to weep in solitude. You have the body of Christ to lift you up. You have the Word of God to teach you. You have the Holy Spirit indwelling in you who warms your soul.
You have the God of encouragement waiting to show you His mercy and love.
But you need to trust. You need to remember the Lord’s blessing. You need to depend on Him. You need to keep your eyes on Jesus and Him alone.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,” (Matthew 11:28).
Slick, M. 2014. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5, Encouragement. [online] Available at: http://carm.org/christianity/sermons/2-corinthians-13-5-encouragement [Accessed: 30 Apr 2014].