“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace…“
and given us
God is a giver. Paul has the capacity to recognize God’s gifts to him and others.
“For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.
O LORD of hosts,
Blessed is the man who trusts in You!” (Psalm 84:11-12).
“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).
Temporal consolation is one thing, but everlasting consolation is something else. God’s consolation does not diminish or die. Man operates on transitory consolation; God operates on everlasting consolation. God’s consolation begins in time and moves into eternity (Romans 15:4; 2 Corinthians 1:3-7). His capacity for consoling us is eternal, but it functions in time.
The word “consolation” is the word comfort. Literally, it means to call to one’s side. The idea is encouragement. God gives “everlasting encouragement.” God calls us alongside Himself to encourage us.
God specializes in consolation.
We do not always need encouragement, but God will supply it when we need it. He is a great specialist in encouragement. He knows exactly how to give it if we are open to receive it.
“Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus…” (Romans 15:5).
“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 tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
Life is not always a big plus; sometimes, minuses come into our lives. If lemons come into our lives, we do not make lemonade, but we draw on God’s consolation. God providentially provides that consolation exactly at the time we need it.
“Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which he was comforted in you, when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced even more” (2 Corinthians 7:6-7).
God’s consolation is not like a mother who consoles her child. God never says, “Now, there, there, it will be alright,” for God’s consolation has content. He consoles us with His promises.