God Offers Comfort to All
BY KATIE SPITTAL
May 20, 2017
3All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 5For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. 6Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. 7We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.
2 Corinthians 1:3-7 (NLT)
Wow! Paul hits the ground running in his letter to the Corinthians. He wastes no time with fluffy greetings and fancy words or complex metaphors; he just starts praising the Lord. The phrase “overflowing with the joy of the Lord” comes to mind. So what’s been going on with Paul that he is so quick with praise? He must be in a great time of peace and prosperity, right? Well, not exactly. The very next line is about his troubles.
Paul has great troubles. He is being threatened by critics with imprisonment and even death. But he goes on to praise God for His comfort in these many trials. Paul does not say how God delivered him or that everything was easy and without pain even though God swooped in and rescued him. Paul writes about how God comforted him in his time of trial and struggle. And it doesn’t end there. God comforts Paul not just so he will feel better but also so he will go out and provide comfort to others.
This is an example for the church.
Paul is encouraging us to be open in our struggles and share how God is working in them and showing us His mercy.
This will grow our faith and give our salvation a firm foundation. But God does not show us this mercy and comfort to only deliver us from trials. In verse 6, Paul writes that we will continue to suffer for Christ and that the comfort we receive from Him will help us patiently endure these sufferings. Paul understands there are more trials to come, and he needs to endure for Christ to the end.
God comforts us to give us the courage to patiently endure, to not give up, to keep going!
Patiently enduring does not come easily for me. More often than not, I pray that God will deliver me from my current struggle. So I will keep praying not only for comfort but also that God will open my eyes to the people around me that are in pain and also need comfort; and that I might be Jesus with skin on for them today. I pray that He will give me the strength to keep going in times of trial and for me to patiently endure while praising Christ through it all.
This post is entirely the opinion of this week’s writer and does not necessarily reflect the view of Northview Church as a whole.