“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 NIV
Have you ever gone through a particularly difficult season in life and asked the questions why? Why is this happening? Why me? Why this? Why now?
The Apostle Paul knew what it meant to suffer. He had experienced hardships such as floggings, imprisonment, delayed ministry opportunities, stoning, etc., but the conclusion Paul came to was that the troubles he had withstood enabled him to minister to others who were also experiencing difficulty.
In Chapter 1:9 in this same book, he says that these hard seasons teach us to rely on God and not ourselves; to press in and find our strength in Him.
In chapter 4, verses 8-9, Paul writes these words:
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
How could he says these things? Let’s face it, there are difficult situations that can utterly destroy our lives, yet, this man had one thing that many people today do not have…HOPE.
Paul’s peace and contentment and resolve did not come from his own flawed abilities, but rather through the power of Christ within him.
Like Paul, you and I may go through hard circumstances but if we have Jesus in our life, then we can weather any storm that comes our direction because He is all we need. Our joy is not measured by our comfort, but by the One who gives comfort to us.
This week, remember that God never wastes a trial and never takes us through anything that He is not in control of. Press in. Trust Him in the process and allow Him to use what you are learning (or have learned) to comfort and encourage others.