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. 2 Corinthians 1:4
Have you ever wondered why? Why is this happening to me or why do things always go in a certain direction? What about wondering why things are the way they are in the world around you or why disasters and tragedies come, sometime one right after another?
Well, wonder no more. Today’s scripture is the answer to all the “why do we go through struggles” questions. It says that we go through trials and tribulations so that we can experience the comfort and peace of God and then we can relate to and comfort others who are struggling and suffering. It actually says that we can comfort others with the very same comfort that we were comforted with. Wow, that implies that God gives us His peace and comfort to share with others. It makes sense though, because He gave us comfort in the form of the Holy Spirit. That is the evidence that it is His will for us to not suffer through our troubles, but to be comforted and consoled. He gave us the Comforter.
This passage goes on to say that ultimately, as we trust God through our troubles and tribulations, we are empowered to strengthen and encourage others, resulting in their salvation. Glory to God! If we learn to receive His comfort as we go through things, we can watch as He uses that problem to bring others to His great salvation.
So, I actually had an opportunity this week to see this process in action. I have been through many hurts in my life which had resulted in me being very guarded and expectant of more hurt. In the past, I have been afraid to let others into my life because I didn’t want to be taken advantage of or hurt again. I didn’t realize that by keeping this wall up, I was actually empowering people to hurt me because I was expecting it. My responses to others were always defensive and repelling because I didn’t want anyone to get too close. The Lord comforted me where I was, and then He brought me out. He showed me that if I released all the pain of the past and receive His love in the place, I could go on to love others never worrying about them hurting me in return. Freely giving love to others brought such freedom. Now I don’t worry about being taken advantage of or hurt because my focus is no long on me, it is on the person who needs to know the love and comfort of God. There have been some opportunities for me to be tempted to take a rejection or ulterior motive to heart and have hurt feelings. However, when I turn it to God, He quickly shows me that they are the ones loosing and I have lost nothing. I did all I could do to love and comfort them and when they are ready to receive that, the Holy Spirit will be the one to open their eyes to that love.
So, when I could see my friend taking everything to heart and letting every word she heard pierce her heart again, I told her how I was comforted when my heart was hurting. She knew that she was being defensive and that was holding her back from being free from those hurts. We prayed together and now she is able to be comforted with the same comfort that I was comforted with that resulted in my freedom, and now hers.
Today I want to encourage you to be comforted. What ever you are going through and whatever is stressing you, turn it over to God and receive His comfort and peace. Know that He will get you through way better than you could do alone. Then go on and let Him lead you to someone that you can share that very same comfort with. Keep sharing it with all He brings your way and bring them into God’s family by giving them the comfort that you were comforted with when you were comforted.
Today’s scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 1:1-7