That We Might Comfort Others!
Listen to Saint Paul’s words of encouragement and comfort to the struggling believers in Corinth, “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.” (2Cor 1:3-4) Let’s face it, trouble and tribulation are not enjoyable topics in our world today, but they are part of life. Paul says we should praise God in our struggles simply because He is God: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul focuses on encouraging believers who are suffering, calling God the “God of all comfort.” The truth is, we often feel alone and weak when we are going through pain and hardship, but we aren’t. This passage tells us God is with us, in all His power and strength to help and comfort us.
Think about the kind of people you seek out when you’re in pain or struggling. You want someone who has felt your pain, right? A person who has already walked the path you’re on, who can understand your struggles and share their wisdom. Going through what we often call a “valley experience” prepares us to be a comforter and encourager to others. But we must first accept that God has allowed this adversity in our life and then choose to learn from the situation. Friends, comfort is found not in the absence of pain and hardship, but in the midst of it. So many hurting Christians today believe their walk with the Lord is out of balance because of their current pain and hardship. They don’t feel comfortable. Yet feeling comfortable and being comforted are two different things. The first is a nice feeling but those tend to come and go, as feelings do. The second is a fact based on the Comforter, not on circumstances. And the Lord our comforter does not come and go, he promises: “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).
Paul goes on to say in 2 Cor. 4:17, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”. He is saying, we are only in this life’s pains and struggles for a short time, and that eternity will be so far beyond what we think of now as good, that we can’t even imagine what it will be like. This life’s pains and struggles will drive us to our knees to trust in God alone, but they will also benefit those we love and serve. When we experience firsthand our struggles being comforted by our loving God, it equips us to extend that same comfort to others who are suffering around us! Dear friends, as our brother’s keeper, let us eagerly share the ministry of presence with those around us, to bring them the comfort our loving God has ministered to us.
Grace and peace always,