Pastor Bob Crawford was born in Philadelphia, PA, and currently serves as the Administrative and Missions Pastor at Faith Baptist Church, Taylors, SC, where Dr. John C. Vaughn is the senior pastor.


Bob Crawford graduated from Bob Jones University with a Bachelors degree in Bible and a Masters degree in Counseling.


During his 35 years of ministry, Pastor Crawford has ministered in four churches in Philadelphia, PA; Akron, OH; Brevard, NC; and, Taylors, SC.


In addition to his administrative duties at Faith Baptist, Pastor Crawford directs the church’s Pastoral Care Ministry, and serves as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International.



“The God of ALL Comfort”




Pastor Robert T. Crawford


“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,


the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us


in our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them


which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith


we ourselves are comforted of God.”


                                                                              II Corinthians 1: 3-4


Have you ever known people who despite tragedy were able to offer comfort to others? We currently have members of Faith Baptist Church in Taylors, SC, who recently learned they have cancer, another man who has cirrhosis of the liver, another family with an eight-year-old daughter with brain cancer, others who suddenly lost their jobs, and a mother whose husband died at a relatively young age. This is but a sampling of the heartache the people in our church are facing.


Often, as you talk with these individuals trying to comfort them, you yourself are the one encouraged by their confident responses and submissive faith.


On the other hand, some people are devastated by personal hardships. They experience no hope, peace, grace, or consolation. They certainly are in no position to help others because they are so overwhelmed by their own personal loss and grief.


What is the difference? Where do those who are able to comfort others while enduring personal tragedy receive the strength to live above their circumstances?


The Apostle Paul was one person who learned that secret, and he passed it along to us in


II Corinthians 1:3-4. In order to have comfort when you experience pain, tragedy, loss, rejection, heartache, or disappointment, Paul says you must:


Remember what God is to you (II Corinthians 1:3) “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.”


Paul began his letter with voice of praise. He could not sing about his circumstances—he was “pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that he despaired even of life” (II Corinthians 1:8b). But he could sing about the God who is in control of all circumstances. Paul learned that praise changes things just as much as prayer changes things.


You can Praise God because He is God. “Blessed be God.” There are truths about and attributes of God that must be focused upon in order to praise Him during the adverse and painful events in life. You must look at tragedy and pain through the “eyes of faith, not by sight” or sense. “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (II Corinthians. 5:7). Just as the faith of salvation comes through hearing the message of the Gospel (Romans 10:17), so the faith to trust God in distress comes through the Word of God. When in the furnace of adversity, it is wise to meditate on three essential truths about God. The first is that God is perfect in His love; therefore, He always wills what is best for us (Romans 8:35-39). Second, God is infinite in His wisdom so He cannot make any mistakes (Romans 11:33). Third, God is completely sovereign, so He has the power to accomplish His perfect plan (Proverbs. 16:9, 19:21). Dr. Jim Berg says, “God’s sovereignty is perhaps the most misunderstood, yet one of the most comforting, truths about God taught in the Bible. This is a scary doctrine to some. It frightens them to think that someone else is in total control of their lives. That is frightening to them only because they do not know well the loving nature and the surpassing wisdom of the one who has everything under His control.” Praise the Lord He is in charge. God will work all things out for His glory, our good, and to advance the testimony of His good name.


You can Praise God because He is the “Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” It is because of Jesus Christ that we can call God “Father,” and approach Him as His children. The Bible says in John 1:12, “But as many as received him (Christ), to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” When we repent of our sins and put our trust in Jesus Christ alone as our only hope of eternal life, we become a child of God. “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father” (Galatians 4:6). God sees us in His Son and loves us as He loves His Son. Charles Spurgeon put it this way: “Jesus Christ stood before God as if He was you (on the cross) so we can stand before God as if you were Christ” (our position before God after trusting Christ as Savoir). We are precious to the Father, and He will see to it that the pressures and problems of life do not destroy us. They will ultimately help and perfect us. As a loving and wise heavenly Father, God will control the agenda to make, mold, and conform us into the image of His Son (Romans. 8:28,29).


You can Praise God because He is the “Father of mercies.” God by His grace gives us what we do not deserve, and in His mercy He withholds from us what we do deserve. “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed” (Lamentations 3:22). God’s mercy is His pity upon us in our helpless (though not necessarily innocent) condition. From the Lord loving compassions flow to His children when they are tested by affliction. “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust” (Psalm. 103:13,14).


You can Praise God because He is “the God of all comfort.” Our English word comfort comes from two Latin words meaning “with strength.” The Greek word means “to come alongside and help.” It is the same word used for the Holy Spirit, “the Comforter” in John, chapters 14-16. God desires to put strength into our hearts so we can face our trials, be matured by them, and triumph over them. When you find yourself discouraged because of difficult circumstances, it is easy to look at yourself and your feelings, or to focus on the problems around you. But the first step you must take is to look by faith to the Lord and realize all that God is to us. GLANCE at your circumstance, and GAZE at the Lord. Too often, we place a fixed gaze on our problems and only glance at the Lord. “I will lift up mine eyes into the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which hath made heaven and earth” (Psalm. 121:1-2).


Remember what God does for you (II Corinthians. 1:4a) “Who comforteth us in all our tribulation. . .”


To begin with, God permits trials to come. The original word used here means “narrow, confined, under pressure.” In II Corinthians 1:4, it is translated as tribulation and trouble. Paul felt hemmed in by difficult circumstances, and the only way he could look was up. We must never think of trouble as an accident. For the believer, everything is a divine appointment. If our trials are the products of “fate” or “chance,” then our only response is to give up. Nobody can have hope living in a world governed by chance. On the other hand, if God is in control, and we trust Him, then we can overcome circumstances with His grace and help.


The Bible encourages us further by reminding us that God controls the trials that come. Paul was weighed down like a mule with much to carry. But God knew just how much Paul could take, and He kept the situation under control. Every burden a believer bears must first be weighed on God’s scale. As someone said: “When God puts His children into the furnace, He keeps His hand on the thermostat and His eye on the thermometer.”


God has a purpose behind our trials. While living in Asia, Paul faced a grievous situation which he described as a “sentence of death” so that “(he) should not trust in (himself), but in God which raiseth the dead” (II Corinthians 1:9). God did not want Paul to trust his own self-sufficiency. Often, to keep us submissive, yielded, and humble, the Lord permits or sends problems that keep us dependent upon Him. God wants us to trust Him, not our gifts or our abilities, our experience, or our own toughness or take-charge attitude. Self-confidence and independence are constant reliance’s we must forsake.


God delivers us from our trials. In II Corinthians 1:10, Paul declares, God “Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver. . . .” Paul experienced God’s hand of rescue. The word Paul used means “to help out of distress, to save, to protect.” God does not always deliver us immediately, nor does He deliver each of His children in the same way. James was beheaded, yet Peter was delivered from prison (Acts 12). Both were delivered, but in different ways. Sometimes God delivers us from our trials, and at other times, He delivers us in our trials.


God is glorified through our trials. When Paul reported what God had done for him, a great chorus of praise and thanksgiving went up from the saints to the throne of God. “Ye also helping together by prayer for us. . . by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many (italics mine) on our behalf” (II Corinthians 1:11). The highest service you and I can render on earth is to bring glory to God, and sometimes that service involves suffering. God works out His purposes in the trials of life, if we yield to Him, trust Him, and obey what He tells us to do. Difficulties can increase our faith and strengthen our prayer lives. Difficulties can be used to glorify God. So, when you find yourself in the trials of life, remember what God is to you, and what God does for you. Finally,


Remember what God does through you (II Corinthians 1:4b) “. . . that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”


God comforts us. The subject of human suffering is not easy to understand, for there are mysteries to the working of God that we will never grasp until we get to heaven. Sometimes we suffer because of our own sin and rebellion, as did Jonah. Sometimes we suffer to keep us from sinning, as was the case with Paul (II Corinthians 12:7). Another reason we suffer is because God wants to expand our ministry to others so we can come along side those who are hurting and share how God sustained us during our own trials. When facing a tragedy, there is nothing like someone coming up to you who says “Been there, and have gone through that—let me tell you how good God is!”


God comforts others through us. In times of suffering, many of us are prone to think only of ourselves and to forget others. We become a “Dead Sea” that receives instead of a river that flows. Yet, one reason for trials is that you and I might be channels of blessing to comfort and encourage others. Because God has encouraged us and shown Himself strong, we can encourage others. Paul experienced trouble not as punishment for something he had done, but as a preparation for something he was yet going to do—minister to others in need.


As you read the testimony of Cliff and Carol Gribick, the originators of this website, concerning the collapse of their son, Luke, on February 2, 2002, you soon realize that the Gribick’s have taken the resources and comfort God gave them “in their trouble” to be a blessing to you who find encouragement through the No Tears In Heaven testimonies, messages, and biblical principles.


Notice the comforting impact that Pastor Scott Wendal and his wife, Carol, had upon the young mother who lost her baby in Collegeville, PA. Before Carol’s death of cancer, she also lost a child. Now she and her husband were used of God to give encouragement and be instruments of grace to a grief-stricken mother in their church. Pastor Wendal’s testimony is shared in the “Message of Hope” section of this website.


Remember, in times of trouble, that God’s trusting child can say:


First: The Lord brought me here. It is by His will I am in this place and circumstance.


In that I will rest.


Next: God will keep me here in His love and wisdom, and give me grace in this trial to behave as His child.


Then: God will make the trial a blessing, teach me the lessons He intends for me to learn, and work in me the grace He means to give.


Last: In His good time, He can bring me out again of the trial, how and when, He knows.


So: I can be used of God to advance His reputation, and to comfort and encourage others.


The outline and most of the biblical principles shared in this message come from Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Encouraged, chapter 1. Insights from Jerry Bridges, Trusting God Even When Life Hurts, and Jim Berg, Created for His Glory, are also included.