Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 1:1–7
Key Verses: 2 Corinthians 1:3–4
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
When you are suffering—whether it be a personal tragedy or one of public magnitude—what do you do? Do you tell others about it? Do you hide it in hopes of denying it? Do you pray that the Lord removes it?
How we respond to tragedy provides us a unique opportunity for the type of spiritual growth that results in victorious Christian living. Once we trust Jesus Christ as our Savior, the rest of our days are devoted to growing. While we would often choose otherwise, the pain we suffer or tragedy we experience is useful.
Second Corinthians 1:4 tells us that we suffer so that God can comfort us. The first usefulness of hardship is for us to grow in our knowledge of God. We will soon know His comfort when we reach out in times of hurting. How could we know this aspect of our Father’s love if He didn’t allow our hearts to break?
The second point of practicality for our suffering is so that we can comfort others. Anyone who has ever experienced real heartache understands how unfulfilled it feels to be thrown shallow phrases in the midst of turmoil.
Yet how would we as humans be able to offer anything more than fluffy words to each other were it not for the deep, penetrating comfort we ourselves have received from the Lord? Know that your pain is real. It is important to the Lord. Your suffering, in fact, is precious to Him. By it, He reveals Himself to you and all those who come in contact with you.
Lord, I seek Your embrace in my pain. Help me not to seek comfort longer than I need but, rather, to share that comfort with others.