I have written the following encouragement to my Intercessors in my prayer letter so thought I would just include it here as an encouragement to you as well. Thank you for reading.
“Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our troubles
so that we may be able to comfort
experiencing any trouble with the comfort
with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NET Bible
Several days ago, the Lord began to work with me regarding this scripture. It is always appropriate, to use the word “comfort” in this text, but I would like, to broaden our understanding of it just a bit.
The Greek word used here for “comfort” is “paraklésis” and means – “The core-meaning of paráklēsis (“personal urging”) is shaped by the individual context, so it can refer to: exhortation, warning, encouragement (comfort), etc. ” (This is from Strong’s word studies on http://BibleHub.com ). You will recognize its kinship to the Greek word we use for the Holy Spirit as the one with us, along side of us, our helper, etc….
So this word would be just as accurately (or even more accurately) translated as “encouragement.” It gives it a broader meaning and more accurately displays for us the heart of the Father. Let’s read the passage with it translated that way.
“Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all encouragement,
who encourages us in all our troubles
so that we may be able to encourage those
experiencing any trouble with the encouragement
with which we ourselves are encouraged by God.”
Now you see what a broader meaning it holds for us. Whether it is “comfort” or “encouragement” or any of the other synonyms that could be used, it is good to see it means more than to help those who have loss something or someone. It includes all of us in our every day lives.
We look to other people and to circumstances to bring us comfort and encouragement – but this passage is not primarily talking about that. It does not say I can encourage you with the encouragement I have received from others. (Now certainly we need to be encouragers of one another but the problem comes when we are the source of that for others or they are the source of that for us).
These two verses are pointing us to our Father. He is the one who intimately loves, enfolds and encourages us. If we only receive it from external sources, it will eventually not be there for us. It is in our intimate relationship with our Beloved Lord Jesus in the Father’s heart that will give us enough encouragement to sustain us and urge us forward in our daily lives.
How it must cause Him sorrow that so many of us live sad, depressed lives simply because of some perceived non-met need we hold dear! How very sad that we move from event to event, from person to person expecting His touch for something special for our lives, when all the while He is within us (as born-from-above believers) abiding and supplying more than enough vision and encouragement for the journey. We have all been this and experienced this – guilty. I am so grateful for His love, grace and forgiveness in that grace. I have been encouraged just this morning as I was pondering some items and feeling discouraged about them – then I sensed Him pointing me to His promise. Oh Yeah! So then I chose to believe and trust Him. Immediately within me, peace and anticipation of all good things rose and I begin to function beyond the problems! Thank you Lord.
May your heart and life find great encouragement in Him today. His love, encouragement and provision is always ours.