Welcome! Today’s Blog is based on 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
Whenever I read these words in Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth I am reminded of Bert and Kathy, young couple I knew during our time in Springfield, Illinois. They were grief stricken when their second child, a little boy, died shortly after he was born. The death was the result of a blood disorder. I remember how in their grief they turned to the Word of God and Christian friends for help and solace. God showed up in a big way and brought a peace and comfort that only He alone could bring.
That experience had a profound affect on their Christian faith. They went to see the Chaplain at the hospital where the baby died and volunteered to be available to minister to other couples like themselves grieving the loss of a child. The Chaplain, realizing that because of their experience they had something very unique to share, accepted their offer. They wanted to be a conduit and not a reservoir of God’s grace.
Time after time, sometimes in the middle of the night, Bert and Kathy would go to the hospital to be available to grieving parents. Because of the comfort that they had received from God, they were in a unique place to bring comfort to others. They found that in each case, God gave them His words to speak as they carried out His ministry.
All of us go through trials and difficulties. Sometimes they come as a result of health issues or personal problems. Sometimes, as in the case of Paul or the disciples who Jesus sent into the countryside in the Matthew 10 sermon text, we experience trials because of our Christian faith. Today, God wants us to know that His promise to bring comfort is sure and that He is 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.”
Paul shares in his letter to the Corinthians how he has been comforted in his afflictions. He is helping them see that when difficult times come, they can count on God’s comfort as he did. And not only that, God will give them the opportunity to comfort others, just as he is now bringing comfort to them.
What trials and struggles are you facing? How might God lead and empower you to bring His comfort to others today?