‘We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves.’ John 4:42a
Paul begins this letter with: ‘Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ It is good always to begin that way: by praising His name. Praising God, we could also say: calling God by His names. For every name of God that is mentioned in the Bible is an expression of His Being.
In this passage, God is called ‘the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort’.
Now it is really not of much value to be able to list all the names of God. What matters, is that we get to know God in such a way that all these names start meaning a lot to us, because in these names we came to recognize God.
Have we get to know God as ‘the God of all comfort’?
Often we seek a word of comfort, more than we seek the God of all comfort. How often does it happen that we look for encouragement in the Bible when we are in trouble? And who could object to this? The comfort that the Bible gives can sometimes really help. But have we ever been truly comforted by God Himself?
Some people say: the Bible and God are one and the same! But that is not true. God is God, and the Bible is His word. When the Bible calls God ‘the God of all comfort’ we should not console ourselves with just the thought that God is ‘the God of all comfort’. If we really need solace, we should look forward to the consolation God Himself wants to give.
We believe God can comfort us because the Bible says so. Let us, therefore, look forward faithfully to the consolation He will give us, because He promised it. And whoever is comforted by God Himself, can really comfort others!