“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.” 2 Corinthians 1:3–4
I have always personally struggled with the idea of comfort. Not so much an idea that God does not comfort, but rather that I was too comfortable.
Maybe it’s the age we live in when horrific acts of injustice are so easily made know and juxtaposed to the normal day in the Western world. Maybe it’s the “one-upness” of my generation regarding just about everything, including holiness. Regardless, I have always thought that my afflictions and suffering were too insignificant to need God’s comfort.
As I read 2 Corinthians 1, the fact that Paul points out that God comforts his people through his people in “any” affliction” jumps out at me and convicts me. Maybe you are different, maybe your life has been hard and full of many sufferings. If so, these Scriptures should sound for you with great hope in the midst of darkness. I encourage you today to read and meditate on 2 Corinthians 1:3–11 and like Paul, rest your comfort and hope in the person and power of Jesus Christ, for he has proven himself faithful throughout the history of his church, his people. He has not left you to suffer alone, but provides you with comfort in his people and his Son.
But maybe you are like me and life has not been abundantly difficult. Maybe, like I do, you are one who sees your affliction and suffering as minor and thus can be handled on your own. Like I do, you need to hear today that such a way of thinking is self-centered and self-reliant. Like I do, you need to repent of your self-reliance before our God, who suffered so that we may have this full and joyous life in him. And, like I do, you need to repent of self-centeredness and let the body of Christ comfort you in your affliction, so that you and I might be able to comfort others also as we ourselves are comforted by God. Praise the Lord that he is a God of comfort in any affliction!
Jeremy Pace is the Mars Hill Leadership Development senior manager.