"The Father of Mercies"

2 Corinthians 1:3‑4  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 9
There is an exceedingly fine description of what God is in times of trouble in (2 Cor. 1:3,43Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4Who 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. (2 Corinthians 1:3‑4)). The sorrows and sufferings through which the Christian passes in this world have made God known to him as “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.”
Tribulations are keenly felt, but they serve, after all, to show us God’s goodness in tenderly meeting the necessities of such occasions. If it were not for tribulations we could not realize what it is to know God as “the Father of mercies,” and we would not enjoy Him as the God of all comfort as we ought. “The Father of mercies and God of all comfort” just suits a tried and suffering apostle and servant of Christ, and every troubled and sorrowing believer in Christ too. God is not indifferent to our tribulations, but in them all He comforts us, as He alone can most perfectly.
Christian friends, loving brethren, can and do pity and comfort us in our sorrows, but there is no one who can pity and comfort us like God. He only can just exactly enter into their depths, and He soothes and comforts the heart. Sympathy for a grief-stricken and tried follower of Christ is keenly appreciated and most thankfully received, and would that there were more of it shown to each other at these times; we need all the sympathy that can be given us then. But the comfort of God is what we should lean upon, and be encouraged with in all our trials and sorrows. When comforted of God we are able to comfort others, while they are passing through tribulations, with the same comfort wherewith we ourselves were comforted of Him.
Many of the sorrows the Apostle Paul passed through, were occasioned by persecutions from the enemies of Christ, and by his faithful and devoted service to the Lord. With the Corinthians most of their tribulations were brought on themselves by their own fault and lack of faithfulness to Christ; nevertheless they were real and poignant, and having been repentant before the Lord, they found the loving heart of the Father going out to them in compassion, binding up their broken hearts with His comfort, and encouraging them to a closer walk in communion with Himself.
And thus it is with us: God comforts us in all our tribulations. Some of our troubles, alas! like those of the Corinthians, are brought on ourselves by self-seeking, or worldliness, or lack of faithfulness to the Lord Jesus; but when we have judged ourselves before Him, and there is true repentance, the Lord pours in the oil and wine which heals and comforts the heart.
Tribulations also may arise as with the apostle Paul, only with him in greater degree and with more faithfulness and devotedness to Christ than anyone else, for his was a special service; none had a mission like he had, and no one ever will have again such as he had. He was Specially raised up of the Lord to suffer great things for His name’s sake, and was the Apostle to the Gentiles—our apostle. With him the sufferings came from both Jew and Gentile because of faithful service to Christ, and because of living entirely for Christ, and in such a case how very precious are the comforts and compassions of our God and Father.
Tribulations also come from being in this world, such as sickness, infirmity of the body, and death. The Lord has said:
There are also difficult circumstances, such as poverty, business reverses and the like, and loss of friends and other trials common to men, but in them all He is “the Father of mercies,” —let us not forget this— “and the God of all comfort” to us.
“At that time,” when the great cities of Judea had rejected Him and His ministry and word, Jesus thanks the Father. And O! what a dark time that was: He felt it keenly. He alone, being perfect and holy, and the Son of God, could know the depths of it all. “At that time” He rests in the Father, the source of rest and comfort, and delights in His will and His way. He said:
What an immense comfort it is to learn of Jesus, and walk in fellowship with God; He is our Example. It is our privilege to rest in the love and mercy that is in God, “the Father of mercies, and God of all comfort, who comforteth us in all our tribulations.”
These sorrows are allowed in His love for us. They bring out some wonderful grace and goodness and compassion, an otherwise undiscovered display of Himself to our hearts. We learn in our trials that every comfort, every compassion, and every mercy is all traced to Him; He is the spring of it all; He is “the Father of mercies.” We can indeed thank Him for the very precious way in which He makes
Himself known to us in the dark periods of our history while we are on our way through this world to the Father’s house above, which is our eternal home.
Soon the Lord will come and receive us unto Himself, that where He is there we may be also; therefore it is only for a little while we shall have to endure tribulations. We shall dwell with Him forever then, and behold the beauty of the Lord; and this will amply compensate us for the sufferings of this little while.