God who comforts the depressed

 

 

“But God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus” (2 Corinthians 7:6).

 

 

There are many things that discourage us.  There may be a lot of disappointment in looking at the country in which we live, but there may also be discouragements to think about the Lord’s church which we love and care for.  Especially we can be discouraged because of our pastors whom we love and also we can be disappointed by our church elders.  When we see the division of the church, we can become more and more depressed.  These discouragements can be fatal to our life of faith.  The reason is that big, deep and lasting discouragement can make us fall into spiritual depression.  If we fall into a spiritual depression, then no one's consolation will be enough to comfort our depressed soul.  Rather, we will refuse to be comforted by our close brother/sister in Christ who loves us, as well as even our beloved family members.  Therefore, we must be very vigilant about spiritual depression.  To do so, we must look more and more to the Lord when we are discouraged.  We must go to the Father God and kneel down before Him and earnestly seek Him.  The reason is that only our Lord can comfort our hearts of discouragement.  Therefore, when we are discouraged and depressed, we must humbly look at God, who comforts us.

 

In 2 Corinthians 7:6, Apostle Paul said to the Corinthian church that God is the God “who comforts the depressed.”  Here, who are "the depressed" whom Paul speaks about?  I think he referred to two groups of people.

 

(1)   The first group is Paul himself and his co-workers.

 

Why did they become depressed?  Maybe they were depressed because they were in affliction (v.4).  Especially when they came into Macedonia, their fleas had no rest, but they were afflicted on every side: conflicts without, fear within (v. 6).  But I think Paul and his co-workers were more discouraged because their beloved Corinthian church members had sinned against God.  I think so because this is what Paul said in verse 1: “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”  Think about it.  Couldn’t Paul and his co-workers be depressed to know that the beloved Corinthians for whom Paul and his co-workers were praying from afar, were sinning against God without living holy life but were defiling their bodies and souls?

 

(2)     The second group is the Corinthian church members.

 

They are also thought to be "the depressed" (v. 6) as Paul and his co-workers were not only because they were sinning against God, but also because they were sorrow when they receive the Paul's letter (v. 8).  Of course, wouldn’t they be depressed when they saw themselves sinning against God?  Wouldn’t the believers in the Corinthian church have been depressed because they were reproved by Paul in love by Paul's letter?  I think "the depressed" mentioned in 2 Corinthians 7:6 are primarily referring to Paul and his co-workers, but in context, it also refers to the Corinthian believers whom God comforted them.

 

How then did God comfort those who were depressed?

 

(1)   How did God first comfort Paul and his co-workers?  

God comforted them by the coming of Titus (v.6).  God comforted them by letting them hear three things through Titus: (a) Paul and his co-workers were comforted by hearing the news through Titus that the Corinthian believers were sorrowful and repented their sins that was caused by the Paul’s letter (vv. 8-10).  Who made them to repent?  Wasn’t’ it God?  God used the Paul's letter to make them to repent their sins and manifest their cleanliness (v. 11).   (b) Paul and his co-workers were comforted because the Corinthian believers’ earnestness on behalf of Paul and his co-workers might be made known to them in the sight of God (v. 12).  (c) Paul and his co-workers were comforted because Titus’ spirit had been refreshed by the Corinthian believers.  So they rejoiced even much more for the joy of Titus (v. 13).  In particular, Paul and his co-workers rejoiced that the Corinthian believers received Titus in fear and trembling and were obedience to Titus and Titus’s affection abounded all the more toward them (vv. 15-16).  

 

(2)   How then did God comfort the believers in Corinth?

 

(a) I think God comforted them using the Paul’s letter to make them sorrowful and eventually make them to      repent their sins (v. 9).  In other words, God comforted them by making them to repent that led them to salvation (v. 10) and to bear the clean fruit of the righteousness of repentance (v. 11).  (b) God also comforted the Corinthian believers by making them to receive Titus with fear and trembling and making them to obey Titus (v. 15).  (c) And I think God comforted the Corinthian believers by making Paul to have confidence in them (v. 16).

 

There are lot things that make us discouraged and depressed as we live in this world.  But in my case, I get most discouraged and depressed because of myself.  That's because I disobey God's Word and sin against God.  I am sure my family and church members would be disappointed and discouraged when they see me sinning against God.  Also, those brothers and sisters in Christ who loves me will be disappointed and discouraged because of me.  I hope and pray that God comfort all of you.  May God of all comforts comfort you in all their afflictions (1:3-4).  May God comfort you by letting you to hear the good news.  May God enable you to hear the good news of your beloved brothers and sisters in Christ whom you have been praying for have repented their sins and are bearing the fruit of repentance.  May God help you to hear the news of love that those whom you love are devoted to you.  May God enable you to hear that those whom you love have deepened their trust in you.