Comforted to Comfort (2 Corinthians 1-4)

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 receive from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

Why does God allow us to go through difficult circumstances?  That’s a common question that people have when it comes to issues of faith.  If God is good, then it seems that He should keep us from ever going through painful situations and circumstances.  This is not meant to be an all-inclusive answer to that question, but one major reason why God allows Christians to endure hardships is so that they can allow the comfort they’ve received from their heavenly Father to be a comfort to those around them.

A number of years ago I counseled someone whose spouse had had an affair many years earlier in life.  While the grief my friend went through was very real, I reminded the person that one day God might use their story to be a blessing to other people.  See, there are many people outside the church who go through similar trials and difficulties to those inside the church, and it’s our experience of being comforted by God that allows us to help comfort other people – often those who do not have the same hope that we have.

Whether it’s a physical ailment, the death of a loved one, consequences of someone else’s sinful choices, or anything else, realize that God may be allowing you to go through the very thing you’re going through partially because He wants you to be a comfort to others around you who are facing similar situations.  For it’s when we go through those trials ourselves that we realize God is sufficient for us, and His grace is sufficient for every moment.

Father, thank You that You are the God of all comfort.  As You comfort us in times of difficulty and trial, please help us to comfort those around us.  In the end, may people be brought into a loving relationship with You as they begin to understand just how much You care for them.

About Seth

Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.

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