A CALL TO COMFORT OTHERS
When we read (2 Cor 1:3-11) we see the Apostle Paul offering some good advice on how to express comfort and encouragement to anyone going through a time of loss. When we know someone who has recently endured the loss of a loved one through death, or some other tragedy, this is a good passage to turn to. Bible scholar W. E. Vine, who wrote "Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words", says the Greek word that is translated as "comfort" in this passage means "A calling to one's side". Paul uses this word several times in this passage, for example in verse 7 we read "We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us". So in other words when we take time to share in another person's suffering, we can also share in the comfort we both will receive from God, as Paul expresses it so well in verse 4. "He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us".
I recently read a line someone had written, "God comforts us so that we can comfort others". And this is certainly a true statement that we find repeated often in scripture, because our God is defined by the Apostle John in his first letter (1 John 4:8) as [Agape] the Greek word for "love". Actually there are two Greek words that are both translated into English as love. They are [Agape] and [Eros] and have a completely different meaning, [Agape] is the word used for God, but [Eros] is used for sensual or erotic love, the word that the world uses to express love. Sometimes the word used to express the true meaning of Eros is taken from it and is "erotic". It is much used today in our sinful society, and shows the weakness of English as a language compared to either Hebrew or Greek.
Our God wants to comfort us in any trouble we might find ourselves in at times, because He loves us with His unending unconditional Agape love. And this is the kind of love and concern for others that He gives us once we become part of His Eternal family when we place our faith and trust in His Son Jesus Christ. When anyone who does this is "born again" as Jesus told Nicodemus he must be in (John 3:1-8). At that moment Father God adopts them into His family, and they become citizens of heaven, and a member of the "the Holy city, the New Jerusalem" that John saw coming down from heaven to earth as recorded in (Rev 21:1-4), our eternal home!!
Dave Jamer 26/05/14