LESSON 1, VERSE 3:
God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of
mercies, and the God of all comfort."
Paul's great benediction in his second letter to the Believers
at Corinth. This is a God-ward benediction!
God The Father!
The word used
here, "eulogetos," means "good words!"
Paul wants to
praise God the Father!
Apostle, during a great time of hardship and suffering, has
found the Lord to be his major Comfort!
And he wants
to "brag" a bit on the Lord God Almighty!
"blessed" be His Name!
But notice the
two other "names" Paul gives the Father here.
"the Father of mercies!"
"mercies" (in Greek = "oiktirmos") comes from a root verb that
means "to have pity" or "to show pity." It is thought that
our English word "pity" comes from a French word that indicates
grace for our guilt and mercy for our misery!
He helps us
when we're hurting!
Then ... our
Lord is the "God of all comfort!"
Not just some
comfort mind you, all comfort!
"comfort" ("paraklesis") means help or encouragement.
Corinthians, as well as Paul himself, have been enduring some
just wants his people to know that their God, their Heavenly
Father, can comfort them through it all!
first few lines of this great New Testament Book accent God's
great ability to bring peace and calm to the Christian's heart
Did you ever
notice that Paul almost always emphasizes the Name and Trait of
God that is most needed at a given time?
were low, Paul called on the God Who could "supply every need!"
were around, it was the God Who saves lost souls!
ones had been buried, it was the God who is coming again!
were forsaking the faith, the faithful God was mentioned!
loneliness had set in, the God Who never leaves nor forsakes is
when persecutions and pressures abound, the God of all Comfort
He is What we
is my shepherd; I shall not want." Psalm 23:1
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 2, VERSE 4:
What a verse
we have today!
Paul is about to tell us WHY God allows us to have troubles and
At least one
main reason why we do.
God sends us
tribulation so that we might experience His great Comfort!
enjoyed His overflowing Grace and Help (Comfort) ... we can in
turn encourage others who are going through trials and various
kinds of hardship!
And how can we
What is our
Comfort of God left over in our lives!
comfort prodigally, lavishly, abundantly!
I might need a
"quart" of comfort for my pressing problem.
Yet God gives
me a "gallon" of it!
I have three "quarts" of comfort left ... to help my brothers
and sisters in need!
Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, words it:
"God ... 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." 2nd Corinthians 1:4
"tribulation" and "trouble" are both derived from the same word.
"Thlipsis" means "pressure," then distress and anguish! To
be under a burden! Have any of you ever been there?
this. God does not "waste" pressure! He sends it for
a reason! His children are too precious to Him to allow them any
When we are
having "tribulation" or pressure ... God "comforts" us!
used three times in this verse, is in Greek "parakaleo" (the 2
verbs) or "paraklesis" (the noun).
It means "to
be called" ("kaleo") alongside ("para") someone to uplift them
in a time of weakness! To exhort them! To encourage
them! To love them! To be a "cheerleader" for them!
The Lord, when
I am "down" and burdened and under manifold trials ... comes to
me and walks with me and talks with me and tells me I am His
Own! He helps me! He comforts me! He becomes
my Paraclete! (Remember that Greek noun "paraklesis!")
What a Lord
God is He!
And what a
view of suffering in the life of a saint of God!
things being true, suffering and pressure and difficulty is but
... "ammunition" with which to fight the devil!
energy" with which to serve the Lord!
It's a new
"opportunity" to help another Believer!
"secret" to victory in an area where defeat often comes!
took this truth so far as to tell us to be happy when trials
come! Listen: "My brethren, count it
all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing
this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be
perfect and entire, wanting nothing." James 1:2-4
Again I say,
"Praise the Lord!"
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 3, VERSE 5:
writes: "For as the sufferings of
Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by
Christ." 2nd Corinthians 1:5
everyday words ... the more a Christian suffers, the more he or
she will be comforted by the Lord Jesus Christ!
The noun used
here for "suffering" is "pathema" and means suffering, intense
suffering! And when anglicized (brought into English) it
takes on the added meaning of being "diseased."
When Paul is
living right, living for Jesus ... all his trials and hardships
are identified with His Saviour's passion! He once even
worded it this way: "the afflictions
of Christ in my flesh!" Colossians 1:24
Now here Paul
attributes no redemptive value to his personal sufferings ...
all that belongs to Jesus alone. But Paul can't suffer at
all (or do anything else for that matter) without somehow tying
it to Jesus. For the great Apostle, his very life can be
summed up in one word: CHRIST! "For
to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
encouragement this verse would have been to the Corinthians!
suffered ... enduring their trials for Jesus' sake ... they
would, in like measure, be blessed with the comfort of Christ!
verb Paul uses twice here: "For as
the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also
aboundeth by Christ."
translates "perisseuo" and means to overflow! To exceed a
fixed measure! To excel!
manifold blessings ... in Christ Jesus!
Then ... high
noun "consolations" translates (as you might have thought) "parakelsis."
The word for Comforter ... the dear Holy Spirit ... in
One Who has
been called alongside to help in time of need!
In the same
measure that one suffers ... so will he or she be rewarded with
way of putting it: "If we suffer,
we shall also reign
with Him." 2nd Timothy 2:12
said ... "Out of our frequent buffetings come many of our
in the Christian life is both abundant and certain!
In one place
Paul calls such suffering mere "light afflictions!"
He says: "For our light affliction,
which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding
and eternal weight of glory." 2nd Corintians
when one is hurting!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 4, VERSE 6:
continuing his double theme of "pain then comfort," writes:
"And whether we be afflicted, it is
for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the
enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether
we be comforted, it is for your consolation and
salvation." 2nd Corinthians 1:6
Paul, who had
led these Greeks to Christ in the first place, says that he
suffered much affliction ("thilpsis") or pressure in bringing
the Gospel to Corinth, the very Gospel that introduced these
people to Jesus as their Saviour!
suffering was "for" the Church's sake! Paul gladly endured
pain and agony to bring salvation (found only in Jesus and His
shed Blood) to each city he visited!
It seems that
some people ("false brethren" he calls them elsewhere) had
infiltrated the Corinthian assembly and were demeaning Paul,
belittling him for his many troubles and hardships! "Real
godly Preachers don't have THAT MUCH trouble," they would
Paul is here
reminding them that without his coming to them ... without his
pain and bloodshed ... they would never have heard the Gospel
and never have experienced salvation in Christ Jesus!
But Paul not
only brought to the Corinthians salvation, but also
"consolation!" This word, "parakelsis," means comfort or
much hardship did this godly Apostle share with these folks
salvation and consolation!
they should not despise such suffering!
Paul mentions the fact that the Corinthians' salvation and
comfort is what keeps them going ("is effectual" = in Greek = "energeo,"
our word energizing) through their hard times too!
"sufferings" and the corresponding verb "suffer" are both
derived from "pascho," a word meaning severe pain!
difficulties, rather than being objects of ridicule, should be
afflictions helped bring about their very salvation!
Not in a
redemptive way, mind you. Only the Blood of Jesus can do
that, can wash away sin! But in a tactical way ... they
had to have a preacher tell them the Gospel story! And it
COST that preacher (Paul) dearly to come and bring the Truth!
But, just like
Paul's sufferings brought help to the Corinthian Church ... so
will his consolations! He continues:
"Or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation
This verb, "parakaleo"
again, pictures the Lord Jesus, via the Holy Spirit, coming
right up beside Paul and putting that great Arm of omnipotence
around him and loving him and encouraging him and exhorting him
and comforting him no end!
Glory to God!
amazing comfort does not just stay with Paul either!
He passes it
along to the Corinthians too!
It helps to
secure their victory and fortitude to keep living for Jesus!
Here Paul is
preaching ... and yet, to some degree, he is also defending his
ministry against the detractors who have slithered into the
Put it all
together now: "And whether we be
afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation,
which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which
we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for
your consolation and salvation."
It seems the
the Christians in this Greek port city also have been doing some
of that dreaded suffering too!
fine example of heroic stamina and bravery will help them face
the enemy as well!
Here's how it
goes: God helps Paul. Paul helps the Corinthians!
Later ... the Corinthians help Titus, a young preacher.
And Titus finding Paul and giving him a good report of the
Corinthian Church, then comforts Paul!
It, this great
"comfort," has now come full circle!
equation looks something like this: TROUBLES ALLOWED BY
GOD ... THEN COMES COMFORT FROM GOD ... THEN WE MUST SHARE
THAT COMFORT WITH OTHERS WHO ARE THEMSELVES IN TROUBLE!
And thus do
Christians exhort and uplift one another perpetually!
that's God's plan.
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 5, VERSE 7:
The last verse
of Paul's great "comfort" paragraph is framed this way:
"And our hope of you is stedfast,
knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall
ye be also of the consolation." 2nd Corinthians
Spirit inspired psychologist is encouraging the saints at
His "hope" of
them is a reality.
He not about
to give up on this group of Believers!
"fight" for their faith.
the Apostle that their young faith has been shaken ... by a
bunch of false teachers moving in ... so much so that Paul is
"burning" in his heart! Listen to his rhetorical question later
in this Epistle: "Who is offended, and I burn not?"
Paul is pretty "hot" over the troubles that have developed in
He is here
reassuring the Believers there that he has "hope" in them ...
hope that they will grow in grace and reach maturity in Christ
in Greek, means joyful expectation! A bit of old-fashioned
confidence! Trust based upon the power of God! This
"hope" is not entirely hinging on the human beings themselves
... but on the God who can transform those Christians into "the
image of His Son!"
translates "bebaios" which is an offspring of their word for
"foundation." Rock bottom! That which is unmovable!
It is our word "basis."
perfect participle, means Paul has for some time understood
God's way of allowing suffering ... then flooding that hurting
soul with comfort, much comfort!
perceives and understands such a fact. Experientially so!
times He has suffered ... only to be "overflowed" with God's
sweet consolation and love!
Yes, Paul has
suffered such things as "stripes above
measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews
five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was
I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered
shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; in
journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils
of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen,
in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city,
in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea,
in perils among false brethren; in weariness and
painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in
fastings often, in cold and nakedness!" And that's
only a partial list from 2nd Corinthians 11.
And now he is
informing the Corinthians that they too are "partakers" of such
are to a lesser or greater degree!
again: "And our hope of you is
stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings,
so shall ye be also of the consolation."
"partakers" is "koinonos" which means to be a partner or a
companion in something! To share in that thing with
another! "Koinos" is thought to mean that which is
"common" in a group ... everyone having a part of it! The
noun is most often translated as fellowship or communion.
"sufferings" is again "pathema" (from "pathos"), meaning to
sense pain, usually severe pain! The word usually has a
subjective flavor ... personal pain!
But if we
suffer ...so shall we be blessed with God's great "consolation!"
again. The strength and comfort and love God imparts
to us when he comes alongside us and helps us and encourages us
and uplifts us! The New Testament word of Comforter, the
Holy Spirit Himself, is "parakletos!"
It just like
Paul says elsewhere: "If we suffer,
we shall also reign with Him!" 2nd Timothy 2:12
of Scripture sure can put a whole new perspective on suffering
and hardship and trials in the Christian life!
At least it
did for Paul. He could even say: "Most
gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the
power of Christ may rest upon me." 2nd Corinthians
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
PRAYER IS THAT THESE FIVE LESSONS MIGHT HELP US ALL BETTER
UNDERSTAND THE HARD TIMES THAT COME OUR WAY!
came to the place where he truly could say: "For our light
affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more
exceeding and eternal weight of glory." 2nd