Observe here, 1. The several gracious and comfortable titles which the apostle gives to Almighty God; he styles him,
1. The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; so he is by nature; and Christ his Son by eternal and ineffable generation: for as the words, our Lord, ascribed here to Christ, do not exclude the Father from being Lord; so the word God, ascribed here to God the Father, excludes not Christ from being our God; and as God is the Father of Christ, so he is a Father in him to all that have union with him.
2. The Father of mercies; a most amiable and comfortable relation; not the Father of mercy, or a merciful Father, barely, but the Father of mercies in the plural number to denote the greatness and multitude of his mercies, and that all mercy flows from him only and freely, as streams from an overflowing and never-failing fountain.
3. The God of all comfort; because by giving his Holy Spirit, the Comforter, he is the author of all that consolation which is conferred upon us.
Observe, 2. The duty here performed by the apostle, that of blessing God, or thanksgiving, Blessed be God, &c.
Learn, That blessing and praising God for all mercies, but especially for spiritual mercies, is a duty which all the people of God ought especially to be careful of, and abounding in: the more you shall have cause to bless him, he will multiply blessings upon you for your thankfulness to him.
Observe, 3. The particular favour which the apostle blesses and praises God for; namely, for comforting his children in all their tribulations.
Learn hence, That as God is the only comforter of his people at all times, so he is their best comforter in the worst of times. There is no tribulation or affliction that the people of God can fall into, but God can and will comfort them therein: Blessed be God, who comforteth us in all our tribulations.
Observe, 4. The gracious end and merciful design of God in comforting his saints and servants, in and under all their pressures, tribulations, and afflictions; it is, That they may be able to comfort them which are in trouble, by the comfort wherewith they themselves have been comforted of God.
Learn hence, That God doth often exercise many of his ministers, and some of his particular saints and servants, in a very exemplary manner, with trials and afflictions; for this great end amongst others, that they may be experimentally able to instruct and comfort such, who either are or may hereafter fall into the same disconsolate condition with themselves; none so fit to advise and counsel, to instruct and comfort, a suffering saint, as an afflicted minister or Christian, who have, together with their afflictions, experienced the favour of divine consolations. That we may comfort others, as we ouselves have been comforted of God.