February 22 I Wednesday
“…so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” —2 Corinthians 1:4
Some years ago, a Jewish rabbi by the name of Harold Kushner wrote Why Bad Things Happen to Good People. Kushner dedicated his book to the memory of his own son, Aaron, who died at the age of 14 from an incurable genetic disease called progeria. In short, his book does not actually answer “Why do bad things happen to good people?” but tells us, “All we can do is try to rise beyond the question ‘Why did it happen?’ and begin to ask the question ‘What do I do now that it has happened?’”
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are not exempt from suffering; on the contrary, we are equipped to go through hardships if we remember to bring God into those difficulties with us. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “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....” Paul affirms that sufferings are not only part and parcel of life but also serve as a means by which we come to know God in a deeper way.
When we look to the Word of God, it feeds our soul and comforts us, as David writes in Psalm 119:52: “I remember, LORD, Your ancient laws, and I find comfort in them.” David was able to find direction and comfort even in the midst of his sufferings, troubles and pains through God’s Word. In Romans 5:3, Paul reminds us to “...glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” It is in our suffering that we meet God in ways that we would never meet God when the sky is blue, the grass is green and everything in the garden is beautiful. This is why Paul is able to proclaim, “I will rather boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses...That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Our suffering draws us closer to God.
When we experience God’s comfort to us in our troubles, these things become a means whereby we can minister and encourage others. As we come to a realization that God comforts us so that we can comfort others with the comfort that we have received from Him, we will have a changed perspective as we deal with struggles because our suffering equips us to be a source of blessings to others.
Prayer: Loving God, I lay my pain, fears and struggles into Your hands and invite Your presence, Your comfort and Your peace to turn this into something that will enable me to bless others. Thank You, Lord.
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