We love the idea of being comforted, particularly by One as strong and caring and loving as God our Father. But I think it’s safe to say we are less enthusiastic about embracing the situations which make us the candidates for God’s Comfort. I am talking, of course, about suffering. For it is in the times of suffering that we find the comfort of God, more often than not brought to us by a fellow believer who has suffered and received this comfort himself.
Paul shares this truth with the church in Corinth. “For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with His comfort through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:5 NLT.
In this broken world, suffering is a fact of life; pain, death, and sickness are everywhere. With sin still holding sway over so many, hatred and betrayal are far too common. The Christian who believes in Christ as the answer to all life’s problems finds that there is a new source of suffering– an enemy who is determined to sabotage the one source of Eternal Life, our relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ.
But even as the sufferings increase, so too does the comfort of God. He knows every one of our sorrows; He knows how much we can endure; and He brings the perfect word of comfort at the perfect time in answer to the anguished soul. Jesus Christ has actually experienced a complete human life, with all its sufferings and temptations; no one is better equipped to comfort the believer than He.
We do not know His overall plan for our lives, and the part this present suffering will play in His perfect will for us. Some who have suffered deeply and received the deep and strengthening comfort of God become His perfect ambassadors to their suffering fellow-believers.
So if suffering is your lot today– illness or bereavement or persecution or children who have lost their way– do not try to flee your sufferings. Turn instead to your Heavenly Father; He knows your deepest anguish and has the perfect comfort for your soul.