“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort” 2Cor 1:3
We use the word blessed in Christianese often to point to something good. Maybe when we “feel” good we say we’re blessed. Some find it synonymous with “lucky.” The reality is that if we have been saved from our sin and its eternal condemnation, no matter how we “feel” or fair in life, we are truly blessed to be found in Christ. Our awesome Savior is most blessed and if we have hidden our lives with Christ in God so are we. “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Col 3:3-4) The biggest thrill or glory for us in this life and the next is being God’s own through our Lord Jesus! We are blessed because of who our God is. He is the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort.
God is the Father of all mercies. Let’s be honest… every single one of us has sinned and deserves hell. We may not have “killed” anyone, but we have all broken His holy standards in one way or another. Matthew 5:21-22 tells us that if we are angry with someone, we deserve the lake of fire. Every day that we get to live without being consumed by God is a mercy to us. Furthermore, He has made a way for us to be forgiven our sins, by freely giving us Jesus’ perfect standing and resurrection. Anything else that we get is just icing on the cake. Do we have delicious food, a closet full of clothes, comfortable bedding in a home and not on the streets or the ICU… these are just a few of God’s mercies.
What about the times that we may find ourselves in the slums (physically or emotionally) or surrounded by hospital walls? He is the God of all comfort. The same God who created the galaxies and the stars is the one who cares so much for our little existence that his thoughts of us are more than the grains of the sand (Ps 139:17-18)… He is not aloof when our world seems to be falling apart. In fact, He is even nearer if we persevere with faith to see Him work through our trials to give us comfort from His own loving arms. Not only does He take account of our tears, but he does not waste a single drop. He gives our cries a deeper purpose—that we would comfort others and glorify Him.
The Word blessed comes from the word eulogy and means to speak well of. Do we speak well of God? Or are we more likely to complain to Him or others? Complaining and discontentment are hindrances to the gospel. “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Phil 2:14-15) When we bless and praise God for His great mercy to save us and even for the mundane such as food and clothes, we shines as lights in a dark world. “Paul had experienced much pain, suffering, and heartbreak, particularly because of the false teachers at Corinth. They slandered his character to discredit him in the minds of the people and even more painful to the apostle, sought to deceive the Corinthian church with lies about the gospel. But in God’s merciful comforting of him, he received the strength he needed to carry on. For that Paul was deeply grateful and blessed God.” (John MacArthur)
Photo credit: Vern Jensen Photography