Consolation II Cor. 1:3 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
To console someone is to comfort him – to ease his misery or grief – to give him some relief – this passage is about the consolation Paul had received from the Lord and the consolation the Corinthians would receive from him. Notice these traits of consolation:
The Grief of consolation – 2 Cor 1:5 – “as the sufferings of Christ abound in us” – when you become a Christian, if you live as a Christian and not as the world, you are going to suffer – and when you suffer you are going to receive consolation from the Lord – you have to suffer to get consolation from the Lord – if you are not suffering, there is no need for you to be consoled – but notice also:
The Greatness of consolation – 2 Cor 1:5 – “so our consolation aboundeth by Christ” – the degree to which you suffer is the degree to which you are comforted – the comfort is always greater than the suffering – and that’s because consolation comes from Christ – you will find that the consolation is so much greater than the suffering that, in a way, you look forward to suffering because of the consolation.
The God of consolation – 2 Cor 1:3-4 – “the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation” – suffering should draw you closer to God – when you need consolation the person to go to is God because he is the God of all comfort – you learn more about the Lord in times of affliction and suffering than you do in times of ease and prosperity.
The Goal of consolation – 2 Cor 1:4, 6 – “that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble”… “it is for your consolation and salvation” – regardless whether we are being afflicted or comforted, either one is for the consolation of others [not so much for ourselves] – when others endure “the same sufferings which we also suffer” they are consoled in that someone else has already been through what they are going through and has been comforted by the Lord – and often the Lord uses you to provide his comfort to someone else – that is:
The Gift of consolation – 2 Cor 1:4 – “by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” – the comfort you give to others is the comfort that you received from the Lord – it was a gift to you from God and now it is a gift to them from you – you don’t have this gift to give to others until you have received it from the Lord through your own suffering.
The Guarantee of consolation – 2 Cor 1:7 – “our hope of you is steadfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation” – Paul knew that they would receive the same consolation that he had been receiving for the suffering he had been enduring – he was absolutely certain that they would be comforted even if they just received their consolation from Christ through him.
The Glory of consolation – 2 Cor 1:3 – “Blessed be God” – all of us who have been consoled glorify God because we have received the consolation from him – his comfort magnifies him to a greater degree than the suffering magnifies the affliction and those who are responsible for it.
Conclusion: so when you are going through suffering or affliction remember that God is there to console you and that your suffering has a purpose far greater than yourself – suffering draws you closer to the Lord and magnifies his glory – and your suffering is for others so that one day you will be able to comfort them in the same way that you have been comforted.