“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.
“We were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again…
“The Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you,.. was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-10,19-22
One of the beauties of Scripture is the repeated themes that illustrate and emphasize the steadfast faithfulness of God. Paul mentions just a few in this chapter– mercy, comfort, suffering, strength to endure, deliverance, hope– elsewhere woven through the Bible in Jesus’s blood red, reminding us again and again of God’s unfailing promises. He and His word can be trusted. Every time Jesus freshly ministers, undertakes, helps, blesses, or confirms, we have another entry in our spiritual journal of experience with Him that can be carried to the next test.
When has He taught? He will again! Where has He comforted? He will again! Through what valleys or battles has he come alongside? He will again! In what tempests has He navigated and kept me afloat? He will again! In what confusion has He brought peace? He will again! Our God will never leave or forsake us. He keeps His promises. (Hebrews 13:5)
Are we fickle in our trust, refusing to remember His personal and providential care when things aren’t going our way? Do we foster selective memory due to personal affections, and then waver in faith? God remembers our flesh, and is faithful to the end. But we, in our flesh, falter in steadfastness and fail to remember his power.￼ Would we instead say Yes and Amen to Him? (Psalm 78:9-58)
Faithful God, You have marked my life with Your glorious deeds. From everlasting to everlasting, You are my God, and I Your child. May I never forget, nor fail to speak. May I gratefully live with zeal anew, and expectant wonder at all You do. (Psalm 90:2)