Comfort in Suffering

One night while conducting an evangelistic meeting in the Salvation Army Citadel in Chicago, Booth Tucker preached on the sympathy of Jesus. After his message a man approached him and said, “If your wife had just died, like mine has, and your babies were crying for their mot … More

Comfort

The apostle Paul and Timothy write this letter to the church in Corinth and the saints scattered throughout Achaia (v. 1). He states he is praying that God and the Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to them and bless them with peace (v. 2). Have you ever wondered, why do the righteous suffer? In various portions of Scripture we find that suffering is the result of Adam’s original sin which plunged the human race  into misery. However, in this portion of Scripture Paul teaches why it is necessary for the Christian to pass through fiery trials and how Christ is always merciful to us (vv. 3-4). There are some sufferings that we endure simply because we are human and subject to pain; but there are other sufferings that come because we are God’s children and are serving Him (vv. 5-6). The Corinthians were exposed to testings, not because they were especially wicked, but because tribulation is the portion of all believers and he knew they would be comforted by the Lord (v.7)

Paul goes on to state that their sufferings were so horrible and so unbearable that death seemed certain, but it made them trust more in God as He saved them from death(vv. 8-10). He asks the Corinthians to pray for him (v. 11). God has to work in us before He can work through us. In times of suffering, most of  us are prone to think only of ourselves and to forget others. However, suffering can help us  minister  to others. Paul experienced trouble, not as punishment for something he had done but as preparation for something he was yet going to do in ministering to others in need.

Application

When have I, because of God’s comfort in a previous struggle, been able to comfort someone else in a similar situation? I need to look for opportunities!

II Corinthians 1:1-11 (English Standard Version)

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God that is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in the whole of Achaia: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 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 affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.

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