Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5, 8–9, NIV 1984).
My Musings – Whether it’s a season of comfort or a time of trouble, God does not waste any of our circumstances. Under great pressure and inability to endure, even to the point of death itself (or so it seems to us), we learn to rely on God. Our hardships, no matter how severe, are hardly a problem for the One with the power to raise the dead. At times He may deliver us from our trials, and at other times He might carry us through them. As a result, we are comforted. And the comfort we receive overflows onto others facing similar circumstances.
My Advice – Two “unexpected” principles of suffering. “That we might not rely on ourselves but on God,” and “so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” What we learn from our sufferings we must share with others who are in need of comfort.