“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 tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
II Corinthians 1:3-4 NKJV
You might be one who is right now enduring a struggle in your life. You might be dealing with a dreaded disease like cancer, or have a debilitating condition that has reduced your life to one of sedentary stillness. You might be one who is experiencing persecution, either for your faith, or for some other reason, leaving you feeling the pressure. There are are myriad of reasons for suffering.
I have had the blessing of suffering for much of my Christian walk. I suffered the loss of a career, the loss of my beloved, praying mother, father, and big sister, and the gradually, the loss of my health.
Through all of that, the presence of the Lord has increased, as I have come to understand what it meant to have fellowship in the suffering of the Lord.
Early on, I had a unique approach to my suffering, as I had already had a difficult life. Instead of calling out, “why me?”, I shrugged and said “why not me?”
I remember the many people who spoke truth and comfort into my life during my seasons of suffering. So many brought words of wisdom, which were much needed. The most helpful were those who had gone through what I was going through.
There’s the sister who gave me tips on how to maintain good nutrition during my cancer, or the dear brother Dave McConnell who chased me down every week to tell me he was praying for me. A few years later, Dave’s own cancer had returned, and I had the opportunity to return the favor, chasing him down and telling him that I was praying.
At some point, I began to notice that God had begun to send to me people in like suffering, providing me an opportunity to minister to them with empathy, as I was experiencing what they were going through.
As an intercessor, the struggles that I have endured have served me well, as I know how to pray when people share their deepest pain, as they request prayer.
Through the suffering, God had ordained me to be a minister, as I bring to others the comfort that He had brought to me.
Brothers and sisters, you who are suffering are being made ministers to those who are suffering likewise around you. He is making you comforters, people who have experienced the mercies of God and can testify of all He has done.
If you have called upon Jesus, you are an ambassador, as He suffered for your sins on the cross. This God/Man knows all that you may endure, as He has endured it all Himself.
“He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”
Isaiah 53:3-5 NKJV
Many of us will know truly what I means to have fellowship in the sufferings of Christ, as we will feel great persecution. In that season, it will be needful for us to lean together, comforting one another, that we may endure and keep the faith.
Our world is falling part as many are hitting bottom. They are need of comfort. The greatest comfort we can bring, is that we experienced in salvation.
Sin is so destructive and the suffering so great, that those around us are searching everywhere for relief. The behaviors that we see, addictions, sexual immorality, hatred, and drunkenness, etc are but efforts to alleviate the pain. In reality they bring more pain.
Let us be people who bring the true comfort, that which saves the soul. The Gospel.
“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,”
I Corinthians 15:3-4 NKJV
In this comfort, we go to the source of much of suffering, and provide comfort that only comes from God.
Let us one comforters, my people, being faithful to go and tell people of Jesus, of His payment for our sins, of His pleading even now on our behalf.
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2 thoughts on “Comforters”
So true! They are sufferings draw us to look more and more like our Savior Jesus.
I have a dear, mother in the Faith, named Elaine who is suffering the effects of Covid and in her mid-70s. Would you please pray for her and her loving and doting husband, who is caring for her?