We would all love to live a life completely free from problems. But we know the reality: by the time we solve one problem, another one is brewing and ready.
Then the big question: Why? The apostle Paul writes in 2Corinthians 1:4b “…so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” God’s aim is to develop us so that we can be a comfort to others. Our problems are in the overall plan of God for our lives.
How does this happen? Paul goes on to say that “…just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” Just as Christ was patient and obedient to the Father in His sufferings, we are to patiently endure. Not only because of his example, but because it is in the overall plan of God for us. As we suffer, he comforts us. The more sufferings we endure, he fills us with more comfort. As we are continually filled with his comfort, we begin to overflow with comfort. We become the agents of God’s comfort in a hurting world.
Some become bitter as a result of their sufferings. The desired result of “overflowing with comfort” does not seem so common for many. What is the determining factor? I believe when we have the proper perspective that we are “sharing” in our sufferings, the desired outcome will be seen in our lives. Paul said “If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation.”
So be patient in suffering. Reduce the complaining and grumbling. Submit to the One who suffered so much for us. He will develop us to be agents of God’s comfort in a hurting world.
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