By Ďcomfortí, Paul means the help and support that God gives to his people. It is in Godís nature to look after his people; that is why we call him Ďour Fatherí *.
During the past year, Paul had been particularly aware of how God had helped him. In Ephesus in Asia, Paul suffered so severely that he expected to die*. Then Paul went to Macedonia, where he also suffered very much*. However, for Paul, the most important part of these experiences was not how much he had suffered. It was that God was constantly with him, to help him and to support him.
During these difficult experiences, Paul saw that God was using his life to help other people too. Even when Paul was suffering, God was using him to bring salvation to people. That is, God was bringing people into a right relationship with himself through Paulís work.
God was also using Paulís life to make other Christians stronger. Across many countries, Christians were suffering because of their relationship with Christ. They very much needed the strength and courage that only God can give. God was using Paulís work to help them - and through Paulís letters in the Bible, God still does that today.
When a Christian suffers troubles, the right reaction is not fear. God wants his people to stand firm in their relationship with him. They cannot do that in their own strength. They must depend completely on God. See Psalm 46:1-2.
Next part: Paulís troubles at, and near, Ephesus (1:8)
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.