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The God of Comfort

The God of Comfort

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY JOHN RHEY THOMPSON D.D.


"The God of all comfort." — 2 Cor. 1. 3.
BY JOHN RHEY THOMPSON D.D.


"The God of all comfort." — 2 Cor. 1. 3.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Apr 09, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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THE GOD OF COMFORT BY JOH RHEY THOMPSO D.D. "The God of all comfort." — 2 Cor. 1. 3. It is clear that to the apostle Paul God was nei- ther a perhaps nor a mental abstraction. If I should say that Paul was a theist, that he believed in one God, the Creator of all things, and the Supreme Ruler of men, you would at once feel that this language was mild and inadequate, that it was too cold, formal, philosophical, to express the deep in- timacy, the glorious commerce of Paul's spirit with the invisible Father and Lover of men. Paul did not so much believe certain things about God as he saw God, and lived in the glad and open knowledge of him. He did not so much comprehend God as he apprehended him, first being apprehended of him. The God of the apostle Paul's love and de- votion was not vague, or shadowy, or unreal, or dis- tant, or metaphysical, or philosophical, but a God nigh at hand, open, approachable, helpful, compan- ionable, a near and dear and intimate friend, and all this, as you must have observed by reading his let- ters in the ew Testament, without any letting down, weakening, or degradation of the idea of God. How inviting, how gracious, and how pre- cious is the idea and thought of God in the magnifi- 108 The God of Comfort cent and swelling doxology of the context: "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia : Grace be to you and peace from God our
 
Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort ; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." How shall one fitly describe this winsome and attractive unfolding of the divine nature! Here we are in the presence of something more than a skillful Manipulator of plastic matter; we are in the presence of something more than the decorative Artist of the vast azure dome above us; we are in the presence of something more than the Framer of the worlds; we are in the presence of something more than the Mechanical Engineer of the uni- verse; we are in the presence of something more than the relentless Punisher of disobedient men; we are in the presence of something more than the stern Vindicator of abstract moral order; we are in the presence of a Heart, an oceanlike Heart, that sends out the tides of its love everywhither, a Heart that feels, a Heart that throbs with love, a patient Heart, a rescuing Heart, a cleansing Heart, a sooth- ing, solacing Heart. As a fountain of water in a The God of Comfort 109 waste and arid desert to the traveler whose lips are burning with thirst, so are these words to countless thousands of fainting and famishing souls. They are like the gentle caress of the divine mother in the holy hush of the summer's eventide, when her child is weary, impatient, and fretful. They are like peace after strife, they are like rest after weariness, they are like love and hope after trouble and doubt. Have you ever, after a day of harassing care and wearing toil, your hands and feet chill, limp, life- less, your brain quick, hot, feverish, your sleep un-
 
easy, fitful, restless, disturbed by frightful dreams — have you ever, at such a time, at midnight, floating on the sweet air, heard now and then, as if from afar, soft strains of delicious music, and you were soothed and tranquilized, and fell off into a deep, untroubled sleep ? O, to how many lonely, anguish- smitten, troubled, careworn, restless souls have these words come as though they were a part of the song that angels sing in heaven ! "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, who comfort- eth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." Comfort has for its presupposition imperfection, weakness, infirmity, pain, distress, suffering. If these words are fictions of the imagination, if there no The God of Comfort be no mental conditions or states or experiences corresponding to them, if it be not true that there are such conditions as misery, need, helplessness, loneliness — then the word "comfort" ought not to be in our language, and the idea denoted by the word should lapse from our thought. Comfort, to define it more closely, is the solace, the relief, the refreshment, the encouragement, brought to those who are in any trouble, or weakness, or pain, or yearning, or need. This disposition resides in God. The impulse and the power to solace the distressed, to strengthen the weak, to give light to the dark- ened, to give help to the needy, to comfort the troubled, is of the eternal disposition of God. It is a necessary and abiding element of his nature. or is its disclosure confined to the ew Testament.

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