Thursday, February 19, 2009

The God of All Comfort

I've been mulling things over in my mind over the past few days, or at least that's what my status on Facebook says I am doing. I am not a contemplative person usually so it makes me feel like I should go find a tree to sit under and wear something made of tweed. However, it's really cold and snowy outside so for now I will have to settle for a chair and a pair of jeans.

I am doing a Bible study on first and second Corinthians and have been trying to follow the life of Paul and figure out what he did and when. It would be a lot easier if I had been a better student at Northwestern College. But one thing is for sure, he had it rough: travel, shipwrecks, arrests, beatings, persecution, churches mad at him, accusations that he was not a "true" apostle plus a thorn in the flesh. Paul was not unfamiliar with suffering!

Over and over I am reminded and praying for the trials we face. And for some people it just doesn't seem to quit and I wonder how much they can take. It's hard to figure how we serve the God of all creation yet he lets his children wallow in suffering. In my mind, when we encounter difficulties we should pray and He should fix it. He says He wants what is best for us and that should be an easy and comfortable life - right?

In 2 Corinthains 1:3-7 Paul talks about God's comfort in suffering. And I am starting to realize that God wants to reach us through our suffering. When we suffer and receive comfort from Him, that comfort spills over from us and onto others and produces a patient endurance in us. This is a whole new idea to me and one that needs to be mulled over a lot more!

2 Corinthians 1:3-7
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 have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 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 endurace 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.


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