God Is the God of All Comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
1. Vs.3 begins with the statement "Blessed be God." 2. Paul continued by showing why God is "blessed" as he identified God as: a. "the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" b. "the Father of mercies" c. "the God of all comfort." 3. While God deserves our praise for being the Father of Christ and the Father of mercies, special attention is given in vs.4 to God's identity as "the God of all comfort" -- 4 references are made to "comfort." 4. In our lesson we are emphasizing the fact that "God is the God of all comfort." 5. Let us begin by considering . . . Discussion: I. WHY WE NEED TO RECOGNIZE GOD AS "THE GOD OF ALL COMFORT"
A. In Ecclesiastes 3:4 Solomon said that there is "a time to mourn." 1. Mourn: to experience sadness and grief 2. Mourning is caused by the loss of someone or something that is special to us. B. Bible characters who mourned over their losses include: 1. Abraham (Genesis 23:1-2) 2. Job (Job 2:11-13) 3. Jesus (John 11:35-36) 4. the widows who knew Dorcas (Acts 9:39). C. We have been reminded recently that there is "a time to mourn." D. We need to recognize God as "the God of all comfort" because we all go through periods of mourning and we need comfort. E. Let us turn our attention to . . . II. HOW GOD PROVIDES COMFORT
A. God sent Jesus to provide comfort (Luke 4:16-21). 1. This was prophesied in Isaiah 61:1-2. 2. The Lord invites us to come to Him for "rest" (Matthew 11:28-30). B. God provides comfort through the Scriptures (Romans 15:4). C. God provides comfort through His rod and staff (Psalm 23:4). D. God provides comfort through family members (Job 42:11). E. God provides comfort through friends (John 11:19, 31). F. While He provides comfort in various ways, . . . III. GOD HAS GIVEN US CERTAIN RESPONSIBILITIES CONCERNING COMFORT
A. We must approach God for comfort. 1. 1 Peter 5:6-7 2. Hebrews 4:16 B. We must allow ourselves to be comforted. 1. Grief is an individual matter, and there are different stages of grief. 2. However, we are taught in 2 Corinthians 13:11 to "be of good comfort." C. God's people are to provide comfort to others. 1. 2 Corinthians 1:4 2. 1 Thessalonians 4:18; 5:11 Conclusion:
1. During our lives on earth we will all occasionally need comfort. 2. Let us remember these principles. 3. Let us make preparations to spend eternity in heaven where the things that cause us to need comfort will no longer exist (Revelation 21:4; 22:14).