Blessed be God - Let God have universal and eternal praise:
3. Because he is the God of all comfort - the Fountain whence all consolation, happiness, and bliss flow to angels and to men.
Blessed be God - This is the commencement properly of the Epistle, and it is the language of a heart that is full of joy, and that bursts forth with gratitude in view of mercy. It may have been excited by the recollection that he had formerly written to them, and that during the interval which had elapsed between the time when the former Epistle was written and when this was penned, he had been called to a most severe trial, and that from that trial he had been mercifully delivered. With a heart full of gratitude and joy for this merciful interposition, he commences this Epistle. It is remarked by Doddridge, that 11 out of the 13 epistles of Paul, begin with exclamations of praise, joy, and thanksgiving. Paul had been afflicted, but he had also been favored with remarkable consolations, and it was not unnatural that he should allow himself to give expression to his joy and praise in view of all the mercies which God had conferred on him. This entire passage is one that is exceedingly valuable, as showing that there may be elevated joy in the midst of deep affliction, and as showing what is the reason why God visits his servants with trials. The phrase “blessed be God,” is equivalent to “praised be God;” or is an expression of thanksgiving. It is the usual formula of praise (compare Ephesians 1:3); and shows his entire confidence in God, and his joy in him, and his gratitude for his mercies. it is one of innumerable instances which show that it is possible and proper to bless God in view of the trials with which he visits his people, and of the consolations which he causes to abound.
The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ - God is mentioned here in the relation of the “Father of the Lord Jesus,” doubtless because it was through the Lord Jesus, and him alone, that He had imparted the consolation which he had experienced, 2 Corinthians 1:5. Paul knew no other God than the “Father of the Lord Jesus;” he knew no other source of consolation than the gospel; he knew of no way in which God imparted comfort except through his Son. That is genuine Christian consolation which acknowledges the Lord Jesus as the medium by whom it is imparted; that is proper thanksgiving to God which is offered through the Redeemer; that only is the proper acknowledgment of God which recognizes him as the “Father of the Lord Jesus.”
The Father of mercies - This is a Hebrew mode of expression, where a noun performs the place of an adjective. and the phrase is synonymous nearly with “merciful Father.” The expression has however somewhat more energy and spirit than the simple phrase “merciful Father.” The Hebrews used the word “father” often to denote the author, or source of anything; and the idea in phraseology like this is, that mercy proceeds from God, that he is the source of it, and that it is his nature to impart mercy and compassion, as if he originated it; or was the source and fountain of it - sustaining a relation to all true consolation analogous to that which a father sustains to his offspring. God has the paternity of all true joy. It is one of his special and glorious attributes that he thus produces consolation and mercy.
And the God of all comfort - The source of all consolation. Paul delighted, as all should do, to trace all his comforts to God; and Paul, as all Christians have, had sufficient reason to regard God as the source of true consolation. There is no other real source of happiness but God; and he is able abundantly, and willing to impart consolation to his people.
[Two messages were sent by Ellen G. White in 1913 to the General Conference in session. The first was read by Elder W. C. White to the conference in session on the afternoon of the first Sabbath of the meeting, May 17.]
“Elmshaven.” Sanitarium, CaliforniaRead in context »
How precious in time of need is the assurance of union with Jesus! ... We can say. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation?”—No, for this makes us feel that Christ alone is our refuge, and we flee to Him for shelter. “Or distress?”—No, for He is our consolation. “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort: who comforteth us in all our tribulation....” 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4. OHC 320.2Read in context »
When death claims one of our number, what are our memories of the treatment he has received? Are the pictures upon memory's walls pleasant to reflect upon? Are they memories of kind words spoken, of sympathy given at the right time? Have his brethren turned away the evil surmisings of indiscreet meddlers? Have they vindicated his cause? Have they been faithful to the inspired injunction: “Comfort the feeble-minded, support the weak”? “Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands.” “Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not.” 5T 489.1
When he with whom we have associated in the church is dead, when we know that his account in the books of heaven is fixed, and that he must meet that record in the judgment, what are the reflections of his brethren as to the course they have pursued toward him? What has been their influence upon him? How clearly now every harsh word, every unadvised act, is called to mind! How differently they would conduct themselves if they had another trial! 5T 489.2
The apostle Paul thanked God for the comfort given him in sorrow, saying: “Blessed be ... the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” As Paul felt the comfort and warmth of God's love breaking into his soul, he reflected the blessing upon others. Let us so order our conduct that the pictures hung upon the walls of our memory may not be of such a character that we cannot endure to reflect upon them. 5T 489.3Read in context »