Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

The Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles... so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 

2 Corinth 1:3,4,5

These are lovely phrases and expressions, the 'Father of compassion' and the 'God of all comforts'. I would like to take each one in turn.

The Father of compassion explains something of the character of God. Compassion didn't exist before Him. It is one of the traits of His personality, it flows from His essential being. Compassion cannot exist without God because it was born from His own heart. It is a lovely quality within an individual: a kindness, sympathy, understanding, tenderness and love. When you find someone with that quality you instinctively trust them knowing that you won't meet harshness or unkindness. All compassion flows from within the Father. He will never run out of it. It is one of His eternal qualities. Therefore we can put our trust in Him knowing that whatever difficulty we meet He will surround us with His compassion when we reach out for His help.

The God of all comforts is also a beautiful phrase which describes our Father perfectly. Again from his essential being there overflows a warmth, a presence that brings absolute and total comfort in every situation. When we are comforted we feel safe and secure. Circumstances may not have changed on the outside, but within we feel at peace and rest because He has comforted us with His overwhelming presence. Have you ever felt surrounded by the comfort of God? I tell you, you won't forget it! It pervades your whole body, making you feel totally secure and loved. This is our God.

More than this, all this is true of Christ. For the Bible tells us in Colossians 2:9: 'For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.'

The fullness of God is in Christ, therefore all compassion and comfort is within Christ also. 

If that were not enough for us the last part of my verses this morning bring another amazing fact:

'so also through Christ our comfort overflows.'

It is not enough that God the Father and Christ the Son are full of comfort and compassion, but that we can be too. As we learn to experience the compassion and kindness of God so we discover it becomes part of our own nature and overflows from us. Sometimes in the most difficult of situations we find wonderful compassion or kindness overflowing from our hearts to others when we know full well our own human heart would have run out of love long ago!

Therefore it's important that you find this wonderful compassion and comfort for yourself - not simply for yourself but so that you might fill the world with it.