The Suffering Saint - Part 3
This week we will look at this Comforter in 2 Cor. 1:3, "the God of all comfort." He is stated as being the Father of mercies by the apostle Paul, what kind of comforter is He? Paul states that He is the God of all comfort. And who doesn't need all the comfort one can get while being a Christian where the world hates you, the devil is constantly against you, and that many are the afflictions of the righteous! You may remember that Jesus said that He would send another Helper, One that would be just like Him. The greek word for Helper is parakletos. The greek word for comfort in our passage today is paraklesis, the same word in a slightly different form. We know that the Holy Spirit is our Paraclete,(John 14:16), that God the Son is our Paraclete,(1John 2:1), and the Father in our text is a Comforter too. God, in every aspect of His being, is full of comfort, full of strength, and full of help for us.
The author of the book of Hebrews in chapter 4, verse 15, states that "We do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin." I like to put that verse in a positive way instead of it put in the negative as stated, and still allow it to mean the same thing. Like, "We do have a high priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses ..." We can look to the event we just spoke about just a week or so ago about Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. In Matthew 27:46, Jesus cries out, "My God,My God, why have you forsaken Me?" Here is the only place Jesus uses the word why when speaking to the Father. We can only fathom why that word is uttered, but it must be something deep, mysterious, and serious. No other human being has ever been forsaken by God in this life. We have alienated ourselves from God, but God has never left us.
Do we ever wonder at the deep, mysterious, and serious trials we go through, that Jesus truly does or can sympathize with those weaknesses? He can and He does, though we cannot fathom all that Christ's saying on the cross of being forsaken by God on the cross can mean. G.Campbell Morgan states, "It is the cry of One Who has reached the final issue of sin, it is the cry of One Who has fathomed the deepest depth of sorrow, and it is the cry of One Himself overwhelmed in the mystery of silence." I am afraid this expression of Christ, this suffering of Christ, this agony of Christ, is simply too deep, can not be fully understood, and is beyond explanation. With this in mind, to the best we can grasp of His saying and all that was involved in what He experienced, we can surely be made aware, assured, and acquainted with the knowledge that we surely do have a high priest that can sympathize with our weaknesses. He has seen, felt, and been in the most difficult afflictions that one can hardly fathom. We have One that when we hurt, He hurts that much more for us.
G.Campbell Morgan goes on to say, "That cry of One who has fathomed the deepest abyss of sorrow. Sorrow is the consciousness of lack. What is the sorrow of sickness but the consciousness of the lack of health. What is the sorrow of bereavement but the consciousness of the lack of the loved one? What is the sorrow of poverty but the consciousness of the lack of the necessities of life? What is the sorrow of loneliness but the consciousness of the lack of companionship? All sorrow is lack. Then it follows by a natural sequence of that, that the uttermost depth of sorrow is lack of God. There is no sorrow like it. There is no pain like it." So, knowing that, let us be like those people Peter addresses in 1Peter 1, that though they have as aliens in the land been distressed by various trials, verse 8 states, "Though you have not seen Him you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible, and full of glory." He sympathizes with your sorrows, and will see you into them, through them, and out of them. He is indeed the God of hope!
Elder Randy Slak