Suffering and comfort don’t always seem to go hand in hand. Where there is suffering, we search for comfort.
But where there is comfort we definitely don’t search for suffering.
No one wants to be miserable. We laugh at characters in stories that seem to have the eternal cloud of pessimism hanging over their brow.
The apostle Paul had something to say about suffering and comfort in his second letter to the church of Corinth.
Paul was not immune to suffering. Ironically, at the beginning of his journey he was actually a bestower of suffering. The Bible says in Acts that he was a murderer and persecutor. People saw him as a threat to their very lives and ran from him. They lived in dread of this man whose very essence stirred up feelings of fear, worry, and panic.
Once Paul became a believer, the roles switched. On countless occasions he became the recipient of suffering as people tried to kill him for spreading the gospel.
He was an example of the miraculous way God can change a heart and life. In this passage to the readers, Paul says in 2 Corinthians 1:5–
For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
The truth that settled over my heart this past week was that even when I am in a place of suffering, whether big or small, in my book, there is more than enough comfort for me in this place. My task is to receive it and accept it.
We don’t like to admit that we sometimes like be to sit in sorrow and not want to leave it. It takes hard work to let it go and move forward with joy. It takes a daily surrender to God of our grief, bitterness, frustrations and doubts. And it is hard.
But when I do accept the comfort God brings– with all of His promises–my heart is at peace and His name is glorified. That is a message I want to send to the world.
Where are you at right now, sweet sister? Have you found yourself in a place of suffering or affliction? Are you in despair over a circumstance or situation that you just want a bit of relief from?
God brings comfort in unexpected ways. Watch for His “hugs” today. Even in the midst of your sadness He has abundant comfort. For He is the “…Father of all mercies and God of all comfort” (2 Cor 1:3)
Praying for you!!!