2 Corinthians 1:3-7 (New International Version, ©2010)
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
6 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. 7 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.
Times have been tough for many of us. There has been job loss and economic stress, shattered relationships and divorce, sickness and death. We all seem to be going though it, and the hurt and pain seems to tear at our very soul. Everyone I know has been touched by some kind of trouble. At least if we have God in our lives it seems much easier to handle.
I was especially touched by this e-mail I received, where the person was overcome by dispair. "I feel like I'm falling off a cliff and don't know where to grab," was the statement that really touched me. How do you respond when your faced with such desparation? How do you provide comfort during times when others are extremely troubled?
I thank God that He has allowed me to have a relationship with His Son Jesus. He has allowed me to connect with the extreme hurt and pain that Christ went through to be able to bring me salvation from our sins. I have been made aware that because Jesus went through it all for me, that I no longer have to dispair. Each time that I go through trouble, He brings me comfort and peace in my distress, and let's me know that everything will be okay.
My response was this; I learned long ago that contrary to what many think in this world, it is not about religion but relationship. Jesus has promised that he "would never leave me or forsake me", and that I "should not be anxious about anything, but through prayer, with a thankful attitude, ask God for what I need. He will give me His peace about all of my concerns". Ultimately "He will supply all of my needs".
Those promises sustain me and my family, no matter what our circumstance. I try not to be overly concerned about everything and turn it over to Him.
It isn't always easy, but I learned long ago that the trouble that I have gone through has allowed me to bring comfort to others. I have learned as Paul did, that our God comforts me through Christ to in turn bring comfort to others, and pass on the blessings that He has given me.
Photo of "Looking at the Sea" (Sad young man gazing at the sea) by SSPIVAK, 5-17-2010 from stock.xchng