"SECOND CORINTHIANS – EXPOSITORY OUTLINES"
True Comfort (2 Cor 1:1-5)
1. Have you ever known people who despite tragedy were able to offer
comfort to others?
a. There was a woman who within two years lost her husband, her father,
and her two sons
b. Yet when she was at the funeral of the last one to die, she was
impressive by the way…
1) She graciously went around welcoming those who came to pay
2) She offered comfort to others, when you would think she would
be the one needing it
2. On the other hand, some people are devastated by personal
a. They find no peace, no consolation
b. They certainly are in no position to help others
3. What is the difference? Where do those who are able to comfort
others while enduring their tragedy receive the strength to help
a. The apostle Paul was one individual who had learned the secret
b. And he passed it along to us in his second letter to the
[It is in 2 Co 1:3-5 where we learn about "True Comfort" (read).
Note first of all regarding…]
I. THE SOURCE OF "TRUE COMFORT"
A. MANY SEEK FOR COMFORT "IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES"…
1. Some in thinking their problems are no worse than those of
2. Some in thinking that things will improve
3. Some in believing that it can’t be helped
4. Some in trying to forget
5. Some in exciting and dissipating pleasures of the flesh
6. Some in complaining and repining
B. BUT TRUE COMFORT COMES FROM GOD…
1. He is called the "God of all comfort" – 2 Cor 1:3
2. Why Him?
a. Because He is also the "Father of mercies" – cf. Ibid.
1) The term "father" implies "source"
2) Thus He is the source of all kinds of goodness and mercy
– cf. Ja 1:17
b. Comfort is just one of His many mercies, and so He is
1) The "God of all comfort" – 2 Cor 1:3
2) "The God of patience and comfort" – Ro 15:5
3. As the God of ALL comfort, there is no limitation to the
comfort He provides
[The source of "True Comfort", then, is God. But when does it come,
II. THE BESTOWAL OF "TRUE COMFORT"
A. IT IS BESTOWED "IN ALL OUR TRIBULATION"…
1. God comforts us when it is most needed – 2 Cor 1:4
2. As taught elsewhere, God does not desert us in time of need…
a. "I will never leave you nor forsake you." – He 13:5b
b. He will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability to
bear – 1 Cor 10:13
c. Yes, even in "the valley of the shadow of death", He is
there to comfort us – Ps 23:4
3. Indeed, the greater the affliction, the greater the comfort!
– 2 Cor 1:5
a. As the sufferings abound…
b. …so does the consolation!
B. IT IS BESTOWED "THROUGH CHRIST"…
1. "…so our consolation also abounds through Christ" – 2 Cor 1:5
a. Just as with all other spiritual blessings, it is found
only "in Christ" – Ep 1:3
b. To receive the comfort that comes from God, then, we must
be "in Christ"!
2. Being "in Christ", there are two avenues through which comfort
a. The Word of God – cf. Ro 15:4
b. Prayer – cf. Ph 4:6-7
[Actually, there is a third avenue by which the "True Comfort" God
gives us in Christ is bestowed, but that will become apparent as we
III. THE PURPOSE OF "TRUE COMFORT"
A. TO COMFORT OTHERS…
1. "…that we may be able to comfort those who are in any
trouble" – 2 Cor 1:4
2. The comfort God provides through Christ is not just for our
3. "God does not comfort us to make us comfortable, but to make
us comforters." – John Henry Jowett 1817-1893
— Yes, our comfort is designed to be shared!
B. A CASE IN POINT…
1. How God comforted Paul – 2 Cor 7:4-7; 2 Cor 7:13
a. The Corinthians comforted Titus in the way they received
b. So comforted by the Corinthians’ reception, Titus’ coming
then comforted Paul
c. Yet Paul saw that the source of this comfort was ultimately
2. This reveals another avenue by which God bestows His comfort
a. It may come DIRECTLY from God (e.g., through His Word – Ro 15:4 )
b. It may also come INDIRECTLY from God, through the
exhortations of others – cf. 1 Th 4:18
3. Sadly, many people neglect all avenues through which God
offers "true comfort"
a. They do not feed upon the Word and pray, to receive comfort
b. Nor do they develop the network of relationships with other
Christians, through which God might comfort them indirectly
— But when all avenues are utilized, then "true comfort" is
possible, and we can then pass it along!
[Finally, let’s also notice…]
IV. A CONSEQUENCE OF "TRUE COMFORT"
A. GRATITUDE, MINGLED WITH ADORATION…
1. Paul began our text with these words: "Blessed be the God and
Father…" – 2 Cor 1:3
2. It was the "true comfort" he had received that moved him to
B. SUCH PRAISE IS ONLY NATURAL…
1. Not only because of the comfort we have received
2. But also because of the comfort we can now pass along to
1. Are you lacking in this "true comfort"?
a. Perhaps you have been looking in the wrong places…
1) It comes only from "the God of all comfort"
2) And it comes only "through Christ"
— Are you in Christ? – cf. Ga 3:27
b. Perhaps you are not benefiting from the comfort God gives
1) There are those who would be happy to share their comfort with you
2) But you must be willing to develop the relationships necessary
for such comfort to travel from them to you!
— Are you working on your relationship with fellow Christians?
– cf. Ph 2:1-5
2. For those who are faithful Christians, having delighted in fullness
of "true comfort", remember these exhortations…
a. "Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you
also are doing." – 1 Th 5:11
b. "Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort
the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all."
– 1 Th 5:14
c. Anyone in Christ is comforted knowing their salvation is assured.
cf. Mk 16:16
"Confident that our eternal destination is assured, our daily
trials and tribulations become more manageable." Brad Cook
d. Be comforted knowing that with God on your side, who can be against you?
Do these things, and we will all experience the "true comfort" by which
we will want to say:
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father
of mercies and God of all comfort…" (2 Cor 1:3)