“For when we came into Macedonia, we had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn—conflicts on the outside, fears within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever. (2 Cor. 7:5-7)
Paul the apostle was suffering. He had external conflicts and suffered from criticism. He had fears and stresses in his heart. He says, “BUT GOD”. God, who comforts the depressed and the weary, is our comforter.
Three key ways by which God comforts us when we are downtrodden:
1. God comes “to us” through His Spirit: The Holy Spirit is called our Comforter, our Helper. In John chapters 14,15, and 16, we read that the Spirit is called the spirit of truth, comfort, helper, defender and guide. In Romans chapter 8, we are reminded that the Spirit intercedes for us.
2. God’s Word refreshes our souls. It is streams of water to thirsty and parched land.
3. God brings other people into our lives to comfort us. Paul was greatly encouraged through the coming of another fellow believer, Titus. Titus had been comforted by others. The joy and care of one believer for another can be wonderful encouragement. We can easily miss this encouragement when we isolate ourselves or won’t share our needs because of pride or fear. God has made us ONE body to care for each other. Often, when we turn away from the comfort that others can bring us, we turn away from the comfort that God has sent.