All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He 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. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. Even 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. We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us. 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
Sometimes I wonder why I even continue to write. Why do I bother? Then I think of the countless people, both in the past and those yet to find this site that have been helped by my troubles. I realize that at times, I have whined and complained more than I should have, yet even then, God can and does use those times to help others, all for His glory. It is not what I want to be made known for, the whining and complaining, but I do want to be used by the Lord, a tool in His hand, and an avenue for His glory to be made known. I’m having trouble these days wanting to write. Partly because I’m having trouble sitting down and reading God’s Word. I need prayers to dig deep into the Word of God and allow myself to be bathed in the mercy and grace that these pages hold. Life is always moving forward and there seems to be no stopping until death or the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus. Blessed be His name for He loves and cherishes us.
I have no idea what to write, so I’ll start with the notes from my study bible.
Note on verses 3-5
Many think that when God comforts us, our troubles should go away. But if that were always so, people would turn to God only out of a desire to be relieved of pain and not out of love for him. We must understand that being “comforted” can also mean receiving strength, encouragement, and hope to deal with our troubles. The more we suffer, the more comfort God gives us. If you are feeling overwhelmed, allow God to comfort you. Remember that every trial you endure will help you comfort other people who are suffering similar troubles.
When I think about all that I have endured over the last several years and compare this time in my life to when I first became a believer, I realize that the things I dealt with back then, though seemingly huge in my mind, were peanuts compared to the things of recent past. And one day, I’ll look back at this time in my life and think that this was peanuts compared to what I will encounter then.
God comforts us right where we are, with whatever trials we are enduring. Even if they are trials that were brought about by our own ways, sins or selfishness, God comforts us. He gives us grace and mercy to get through it and a hope and faith that there is something greater awaiting us on the other side. Without that hope, we would surely fall into a spiral of self-condemnation and despair.
The comfort of His hope is such a powerful tool that He has given to us and freely provides for us.
Note on verse 5
Suffering for Christ refers to those afflictions we experience as we serve Christ. At the same time, Christ suffers with his people, since they are united with him. In Acts 9:4, 5 Christ asked Paul why he was persecuting him. This implies that Christ suffered with the early Christians when they were persecuted.
I have suffered much from my husband over the course of my knowing him. Some would argue that it isn’t suffering for Christ or my faith, and then some maybe would…I’m not going to judge. I think part of it is for Christ and believing in Him, but I’m not naive. I realize that some of the suffering is because I have tried to live my life in my own way instead of God’s perfect design. I can’t claim that everything I’ve went through is because of my faith. No, some of it, if not most of it, is because of my selfish and stubborn desires to do things my way. Does that make it of non-effect? I don’t think so. I’m weak and vulnerable, just like you and those who read my posts can easily associate with my experiences. It is God who turns my words around for His Glory and I just praise Him for doing it. I don’t want to detract from Him or His glory and kingdom. Should I ever feel that I do that, then I would need to cease posting. Thank God He uses me, a broken, sin-filled woman for His glory. I can do nothing without Him.
Note on verses 6, 7
Paul explains that when he and his companions suffered, it resulted in their “benefit and salvation.” But just as God comforted Paul, God would also comfort the Corinthian believers when they suffered for their faith. He would give them the strength to endure.
Sometimes, right in the middle of trials and hardship, it is easy to say that God comforts others, but He must have forgotten about me. How often has this thought or similar thoughts run through my mind. ‘What about me, Lord,’ is the real cry behind this line of thinking. When friends tell me of their trials, I can many times see through immediately and see the hand of God and the direction of the Holy Spirit in their hardships. It even makes me smile and laugh to see God’s work in their lives in such a mighty way, yet, to turn the mirror around on me, I don’t see those things in my life during my trials and hardships. It is so hard to see when the rain is pouring down in sheets and the sky is so dark and the wind is blowing. But, just like a movie camera, the person on the outside can see everything you do and everything that God is doing with such clarity.
I suppose it is well worth noting that sometimes the comfort God gives is not a feeling, but a knowledge and understanding of His Word or Himself. There have been times that my only comfort was the knowledge that it couldn’t last forever, that one day, God would bring me through it. It was a simple thought that I would cling to, it didn’t give me feelings of love, mercy, or grace. It didn’t inundate me with the sensations of ease and comfort, but it did give me a lifeline to His saving grace. Acknowledging Him in the most basic, most profound way in my mind conveyed to my spirit that everything would be okay. Once my mind wrapped around that thought, my spirit supplied the sensations and the feelings of comfort were induced. I suppose what I’m saying is that God’s comfort doesn’t always start in feelings and sensations, but sometimes, and in my case more often than not, God’s comfort started in thought.
Well, today is short, but I hope that the message is clear. God’s comfort surpasses all human understanding and all we need to do is allow God to comfort us. It isn’t with comfort shopping, comfort food, or comfort activities, but with the knowledge of the Lord, the Almighty God and His righteousness. That is what true comfort is and means.
Search me, O God, and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23-24 I give my body to You because of all You have done for me. Let my body be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind You will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship You. I won’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but I will let You transform me into a new person by changing the way I think. Then I will learn to know Your will for me, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 Amen.
May God provide the increase.