Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
There?s so much about affliction we don?t understand. ?But God gives us glimpses into his purposes for it in our lives.
One of those purposes is that we experience God’s love in a way we never would apart from suffering.
One reason God ordains that we suffer is that we might experience his personal comfort. ?The ?God of all comfort…comforts us in all our affliction.? ?The God who created the universe bends down to bind our wounds, pour out compassion on us, and comfort our aching hearts. ?God comforts us – personally! ?Isn?t that incredible. ?He doesn?t delegate it. ?And no one can comfort like the God of all comfort.
But God has even greater purposes in our affliction than our own experience of God?s personal comfort.
For after we experience his comfort, then we will be able to comfort others – those going through ?any affliction? – with God?s comfort. ?We hurt; God pours out his healing balm on us; we take that balm and pour it on others.
One thing that makes this kind of comfort so powerful is that we?ve been through it. ?No one can identify with the “fury of depression” or severe anxiety like someone who’s experienced it . ?No one can sympathize with someone who has lost a loved one like one who has also been through a loss. ?But God says we can comfort those in “any affliction” because we have had an experience of affliction. ?We may not go through the precise suffering someone else does, but we know what pain feels like. ?We know what suffering feels like. ?And we can tell others from experience that God cares for them. ?We can assure them that God was faithful to us and will be faithful to them too.
What an incredible joy! ?What a privilege! ?To comfort others with God?s comfort. ?To be used by God to administer divine mercy, compassion and care on others.
If you are suffering today, know that God cares deeply for you and longs to comfort you personally. ?Call out to him. ?Pour out your heart to him. ?Tell him your troubles. ?Pray to him as the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. ?Ask him to comfort you. ?And expect him to use you in his timing to bring his comfort to others.