What does it say? Paul praised God as the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. He trusted God for future deliverance because He had delivered him before.
What does it mean? Rather than being exempt from suffering, followers of Christ have a source of great comfort in the midst of it. Experiencing trouble in life gives opportunity to trust in God. God’s consolation increases as the difficulty increases. Believers who accept God’s comfort have a greater capacity to extend that same comfort to others. Paul had personally experienced God’s assuring presence in the most difficult circumstances imaginable. But rather than question why God had allowed such hardship, Paul placed his hope entirely in God for deliverance.
How should I respond? Trouble is just part of life (Job 5:7), but you can experience indescribable peace in the midst of sorrow by being open to God’s comfort. What circumstance is currently bringing you pain? How has it driven you to trust God more? How could you use difficulty from your life to help someone else through a tragedy or hardship? If you’ve experienced cancer, unemployment, or the loss of a spouse, then you can empathize with someone facing the same thing today. The more you allow God to comfort you, the more He’ll use you as a source of His comfort.