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 are still tough for many, whether it is economic stress, shattered relationships, divorce, sickness, or death. Right now we may be going through something, where the hurt and pain seems to tear at our very soul. I was recently touched by an e-mail I received, where the writer was overcome with despair. "I feel like I'm falling off a cliff and I don't know where to grab," was the statement that really affected me. How do you respond when faced with such desperation? How do you provide comfort during times when someone is 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, and to be able to bring about the salvation from my sins. I have been made aware that because Jesus went through it all for me, that I no longer have to despair. Each time that I go through troubles, He brings me comfort and peace amidst my distress, and let's me know that everything will be okay.
My response to the e-mail was this: I learned long ago that contrary to what many think in this world, it is not about following a religion but it is about having a relationship. Jesus has promised that He "will never leave me or forsake me", and that I "should not be anxious about anything, but through prayer, accompanied by a thankful attitude, I can ask God for what I need. He will give me His peace and the answers to all of my concerns". And in addition, "He will supply all of my needs". Those promises from God, from Jesus Christ, sustain me and my family, no matter what our circumstances.
I have learned as Paul learned that our God comforts us through Jesus Christ, so that in turn we can bring comfort to others, and it is our responsibility to pass on the blessing that He has given us.
Photo of "Looking at the Sea" (Sad young man gazing at the sea) by SSPIVAK, 5-17-2010 from stock.xchng