September 21, 2022

Comfort in Affliction

2 Corinthians‬ ‭1:3-5‬ ‭ESV
“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 affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”

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‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭1:3-5‬ ‭ESV
“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 affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”

If you’re following the Being Transformed Journal and have read this chapter in your Bible, then you know that this is a chapter all about suffering. So fun - a woman named “Joy” writing a devotional on suffering! But really, after digging deeper into this chapter, I think I actually want to suffer.

2 Corinthians‬ ‭1:3-5‬ ‭ESV
“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 affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”

I should maybe tread lightly because you know how it goes when you ask God for patience … He gives you opportunities to practice patience! It looks like the same is true for comfort. If I ask God to use me as a comfort to others, Paul indicates above that it is through suffering (for Jesus) that we experience the fullness of comfort so that we may share that very same comfort with others.

If we are to truly “practice the way of Jesus,” doesn’t that mean we too may suffer? After all, Jesus suffered the fullness of death.
But then, three days after death, He experienced the fullness of resurrection life.

Psalm 30:5 says, “Though sorrow may last for the night, joy comes in the morning.” Cue the 1998 “Trading my Sorrows” worship song. Such a fave. Death brings life, sorrow brings joy, and suffering brings comfort! Jesus came to earth and totally flipped the script.

I’ve heard the Kingdom of God described as an “upside down kingdom.” I just love that. I love that Jesus brings what we wouldn’t expect. Worldly suffering produces bitterness but godly suffering produces comfort. How sweet is our God!

“As the hotter the day, the greater the dew at night; so the hotter the time of trouble, the greater the dews of refreshing from God.” - John Trapp, 17th century Bible commentator.

We can observe the sweet, cool dew Trapp mentions because of the previous day’s heat. We can enjoy the rising of the sun because of how dark the night was. We can appreciate the energy of the morning because we felt depleted the night before.

We can bask in the comfort of our Savior because we, too, may suffer alongside Him.

You and I may not have had experiences like being shipwrecked or imprisoned as Paul had when he wrote this. We certainly haven’t died our sweet Savior’s death. But surely you’re living in such a way that your life exhibits zeal for the Kingdom and therefore attracts suffering. I hope you are.

I hope your Holy Spirit convictions cause upheaval in our society. I hope your unwillingness to waiver in your faith upsets your peers. I hope your passion for the Kingdom makes the enemy shake in his boots. Because if you are truly practicing the way of Jesus, your inevitable suffering will produce the sweetest comfort to share with those around you who so desperately need a touch from the Savior.

Author

Joy Barker

NSK Preschool Pastor

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