For Friday July 29, 2022:
2 CORINTHIANS 1:4
2 Corinthians 1:4 (NKJV)
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.
The apostle here mentions one aspect of the blessing which our sufferings bring to others. We have afflictions in order that we may be able to comfort those who are in affliction of any kind.
Unquestionably the apostle is thinking of profound and sacred experiences in his own life. In the eleventh chapter of our epistle he tells us a little of what he has suffered for Christ’s sake. It is terrible indeed; but he also reminds us, in our verse today, of the abundant comfort which he received from God in these terrible afflictions. We need think only of Paul and Silas in prison at Philippi with their feet fastened to the stocks. God comforted them in such a way that they sang songs of praise. The apostle knew now that the comfort which he received enabled him to comfort others.
Child of God, this is for you—you who have so many tribulations and afflictions. You are not disturbed so much by the fact that you suffer as you are by the fact that your sufferings seem to you to be so devoid of meaning. The apostle here tells you that you are being trained by God to comfort other sufferers. You cannot comfort others with any other comfort than that with which God has been able to comfort you. You remember, no doubt, how blessed it was when you met some one who had gone through the same sufferings that you had and had been comforted by God.
Remember that you who have suffered and have been comforted of God are privileged to comfort more people than you know. Not only by speaking with suffering people directly. Only a few will speak to you about their sufferings. However, all people suffer. And they need comfort. And hunger for comfort. And it has been so ordained that there is something unspeakable about a person who has suffered a great deal, but who has also been abundantly comforted of God, something which is of great comfort and help to all suffering souls.