2 Corinthians 1:3-7 (NLT)
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.5 For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. 6 Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. 7 We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.”
This Saturday was glorious. I need a do over. Everyone was gone from the house and it was just me, God’s word and the beautiful breezy, sunny day. This powder-skinned chick donned my swimsuit ’cause no one was around and I basked in the sun with the Son of God. I can just breathe in right now the tranquil peace I felt in those moments. But, alas, it is Monday again, and now I must find this peace in the bustle. And I can. In God’s word as He comforts me.
I so feel Paul in this passage in Corinthians. There have been so many times when I have sought comfort in things of this world and while a cup of Joe or an hour to bask in the sun can be glorious reprieves, they cannot comfort our souls like God can. Nothing can. No, the comfort of this world cannot compare to God’s comfort.
I guess it makes since. Our Maker knows what we need most. And yet those seeking comfort are also left with a looming hunger. God’s comfort meets us in our deep soul need, but often we are still left with some pain. Paul knew that the more we are visiting by suffering, the greater the comfort we would receive. So while he did not seek suffering and he asked God for comfort and safety, he also knew that God’s comfort was enough.
God’s comfort was never supposed to be a once-and-done band-aid. It is supposed to be an abiding. Life is hard. Real hard. And we often don’t understand how to process the pain and hardship that can come our way. Depression and fear crowd into our minds and make comfort hard to access, but God’s word has a way of breaking through.
During some of the most painful seasons of my life, my life verses came from this same chapter in 2 Corinthians, verses 8-10 (NIV):
“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us.”
Paul did not mince words. His troubles were more than he could handle. He thought he was going to die. but he learned to rely on God and nothing else. How about you? Does God’s comfort seem out of reach? Intangible? Is your idea of comfort that there would be no residual pain? God wants to meet you right there, friend. Right when it seems impossible. You will find Him and His comfort in His word. He is your sufficiency. I’ll meet you there with Him in prayer. Share your prayer requests—I would love to pray for you. God sees you. And He is always near to the brokenhearted.