I notice something wonderful in 2 Corinthians today. I’ve decided to spend a few days studying Paul’s letter to this church because of its power to encourage and reaffirm our proper calling and worldview.
I love what I find here in verses 3-7 which I bolded for us:
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. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 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. 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.
I think about our amazing God. He is the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort for us. But why do we receive such wonderful comfort? Why are we suffering affliction? It’s for other people, so we might encourage them towards the same patient endurance we have.
The passage raises three important questions:
1. What affliction or distress have I endured (or am currently enduring)?
2. How is God showing me He is the God of all comfort?
3. Who needs this encouragement from how I learned of God’s comfort?
If you keep reading in this first chapter, you’ll learn something astonishing. Paul talks about his afflictions as vital to his faith. He writes, “but this was to make us rely not ourselves but God.” When I’m in any kind of distress, I remember how it pushes me to rely on God alone. Then I wait for His comfort and compassion in my life.