Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 (NIV)
This should come as no surprise to you. What should come as no surprise to me? This is a sin broken world. This world does not function according to its original design. This life is full of pain and suffering. I suffered. I felt pain. I suffered loss. So will you. So, don’t think that something foreign or strange has uniquely come against you. If I was ever surprised by pain and suffering and loss, I certainly am not now. Why is that? I have had my sharing of pain and suffering and loss in this life. Yes, that is true.
Although, I am no fan of pain and suffering and loss. I would not seek to erase it from my life. Why is that? It is the adversity of pain and suffering and loss that drew me to you. In my most painful moments, in my darkest hours I have run to you. I have cried out to you. I have asked for your help. Yes, that is true. In my pain and suffering and loss I have come to know your kindness and mercy and love. I have come to experience your compassionate comfort. Would I have sought you if I had a pain free life? Would I know you less intimately if I never experienced any adversity? Would I love you as I do if I never need your healing or help? I don’t think so. Suffering has drawn me to you. So, I can be grateful for the work that suffering has done in my life. You have learned very valuable and important lessons from suffering. There is no doubt about that.
But there is more that suffering has done in and for and through me. Like what? As I have received comfort from you, I have been able to comfort others with the same comfort that you have given to me. You have used me to help others because I also have suffered and been comforted by you. That is also true. And there is even more. What else is there? Suffering has strengthened me. Rather, you have strengthened me, in the midst of suffering. I am stronger and have more endurance in my faith because I have walked through adversity with you. Yes, it is easy to see why you would never want to erase pain and suffering from your life. Keep on relying to me as you go through adversity. Keep on receiving my comfort. Keep on comforting others with the comfort you receive from me. Yes Lord, I will. That will be very good.
Lord, I have been crushed by adversity. I have suffered. I have been in pain. My heart has been broken. I have suffered loss. In these moments you have never left me alone. Thank you for your comfort. Help me to comfort others just as you have comforted me. Amen
Key Question… When has the Lord used you to comfort someone with the same comfort, you have received from Him?
Living It Out… Allow the Lord to use you to comfort others with the same comfort you have received from Him.
Seeing It Happen… Have faith that the Lord will use you to comfort others with the comfort you have received from Him.
Get Ready To Share… Share with another person or your small group how the Lord has used you to comfort others who were suffering.
Prayer To Bless Others… May you comfort others with the comfort you have received from the Lord.
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