God Provides Comforters Along the Way

As I sat in the waiting room, anxiety flooded over me.

Is this going just to be another appointment where they stare and act like I’m making it up or is this going to be an appointment where they send me through the wringer with tests? I can’t imagine that there are that many tests that I haven’t already done, but maybe.

These appointments wear me down, they make my anxiety high and make me extremely tired really quickly. However, I had been reading my Bible earlier that day and came across 2 Corinthians 1:3-7. I found comfort in the passage.

Comforted by Our Creator

As I was sitting there waiting for my name to be called, I pulled out my phone’s Bible app and started reading.

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.”

2 Corinthians 1:3 NLT

God is my source of comfort.

The Greek word for comfort here is παρακλήσεως (paraklēseōs) meaning “a calling to one’s aid, encouragement, comfort” according to the Strong’s Concordance. This verse – written by Paul to the church at Corinth – was comparing the suffering that Christians worldwide, including himself, were enduring that was similar to the suffering that Christ went through.

God comforted Jesus when He hung on the cross and He comforts us when we are going through trials. The definition of the word used “to come to one’s aid” would be a good description of how God works. He is constantly coming to our aid. As we read further into the passage we see why we face suffering.

Related Post: My (Winning) Battle with Health Anxiety

Comforting Others

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT

Have you gone through something – maybe a divorce, relationship issues, empty nest, diagnosis, etc, – and met someone who has recently gone through the same thing and given you support and comfort through it? Or maybe you’ve been the one who has been giving comfort.

Throughout my chronic illness journey, I have met several friends along the way. Some who are ahead of me in their journey have encouraged and comforted me, others are behind me in their journey and I’ve had the opportunity to minister and encourage.

Both have brought me comfort, knowing that my pain isn’t going unused. God uses our pain and suffering for good and the good that it has provided me is being able to help others through their journey.

Personal Comfort

Paul continues:

“For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with the comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down by troubles, it is for the comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort that God gives us.”

2 Corinthians 1:5-7 NLT.

God brings the right people into our lives at the right time. The people who are going to walk along our journey with us. He brings people who know His comfort and who can comfort us. As we think of the comfort that people offer one another, it reminds me that Jesus suffered for me. He died a death that was deemed a criminal’s death, a death that I deserved for my sins.

Paul used his own experiences of suffering to help and comfort the church of Corinth. He had gone through imprisonment, abuse, physical torture, and pain (his “thorn in the flesh”) which drew him further into his relationship with Christ. He was able to have hope through the tribulations because he knew what awaited him one day in heaven.

In all our sufferings we go through times where we probably just want to get it over with, heal, or move through it as quickly as possible. I know I feel that way at times. When do we stop trying to just get through it and start allowing God to use it for our good?

Surrendering Our Comfort

In verse 9 Paul says,

“…we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.”

2 Corinthians 1:9b NLT

We have to stop relying on ourselves and trying to handle our trials, sufferings, and problems alone and instead rely on the wisdom God has.

I have to surrender that to Him and when I do, I experience peace, and freedom from worry. The peace that God gives is beyond my understanding. He comforts me so I can comfort others going through similar things.

The creator of the universe raises people from the dead so why should I doubt that He isn’t using this pain for His good?

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