Summary: You can trust God to sustain and encourage you, even in the most severe trial, because that¡¦s the kind of God he is.

Some of you have been through some trials recently. Some of you are going through some deep stuff right now. People have come to you, seeking to comfort you. And sometimes that just doesn¡¦t make you feel any better. When you¡¦re in suffering, it feels like the pressure will never let up. It feels like the pain will never end. It feels like nobody possibly knows what you¡¦re bearing in your heart. One of the questions we have during those times: Is there any comfort for me? Is there any way that I¡¦m going to feel better? Is it possible to endure this? I don¡¦t see how. I want to encourage you from God¡¦s word this morning that there is comfort in suffering. I know it by experience. I know it because God promised it. I know it because I know what God is like. You might feel beyond comfort today. You might feel great today, but something might hit you tomorrow that leaves you without hope. I want you to know: I will never minimize what you¡¦re going through. I¡¦m going to give you some assurances today, but in doing so, I don¡¦t in any way take your suffering lightly. But you need to understand that you can trust God to sustain and encourage you, even in the most severe trial, because that¡¦s the kind of God he is.


"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."


1.the starting point of everything in life is understanding who God is

How we respond to suffering depends on our view of God

2.(3) tells us what kind of God he is

he is "the Father of compassion"

"the God of all comfort"

central to his whole being is the attribute of compassion

which expresses itself in comfort

God would not be God if this were not true of him

3.based on who God is, he deserves our praise

(3) directs us to offer our praise to this God

we ought to rejoice that this is who God is

to extol him with the highest compliments

because of this

talk is cheap

its easy to talk God-talk when its just abstract and distant

anyone can say "God is good" when things are going easy

but this declaration is not empty words

we don¡¦t know what exactly it was,

but Paul had just gone through some serious trials

which he describes in (8)

so he knew what he was talking about

God’s character had been tested in his life

And he could say, from personal experience:

"God is a God of compassion and comfort"

4. the fact is: God comforts us (3): in ALL our troubles

let¡¦s figure out how he does this

the word ¡§comfort¡¨ = to come alongside to help

its an arm around the shoulder

its someone to take up your cause

in fact, one of the names for the Holy Spirit is the Comforter

that¡¦s the same Greek word for the ¡§comfort¡¨ God gives in (3)

he comforts us through the Holy Spirit

when you¡¦re in a time of trial, the Holy Spirit comes alongside your life

Rom 8: when we don¡¦t know how to pray

When you¡¦re suffering, prayer can be very hard

You can¡¦t muster the emotional energy or sense to know how to pray

But the HS prays for us when we don¡¦t know how

Rom 8: the HS testifies to our hearts that we really are God¡¦s children

Trials make us doubt that sometimes

But HS lives in you, as a believer

He whispers a quiet confidence to your spirit

That you belong to God / God loves you

5. (5): ¡§Just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows¡¨

God comforts us ¡§through Christ¡¨

The NT often speaks of us sharing in the sufferings of Christ

This doesn¡¦t just refer to persecution

Or when we suffer directly because we belong to Christ

I think that¡¦s too narrow a view

Because Jesus didn¡¦t suffer only because he was the Messiah

The Roman soldiers were not opposing his claims to be from God

They were just brutal and loved to inflict pain

Some of Jesus¡¦ sufferings were inflicted by his own followers

Not because he was the Messiah

But simply because of their own cowardice

We identify with the sufferings of Jesus in many different ways

The promise is: the comfort of Christ also flows into our lives

Not a scant measure, not rationed or held back

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