"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." - 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)
I slacked off yesterday so this is my catchup Bible study for Sunday. I'm a bit upset with myself that I didn't make the time yesterday to study this because it goes right along with the message that Cal gave at church. The message was about this unique thing God has for me and me alone: My Story! No one else will live my life; my experiences are completely different from anyone else's. That's not to say I won't go through some of the same trials & troubles that others have gone through, are going through or will go through. It's just that mine won't look exactly the same as someone else's. We're all going through this bad economy, money's tight, unemployment is high, bills keep coming - but my experience of it isn't the same as yours. I'm not sure how you choose to handle this time of trials, but I choose to remain faithful and trust God to see me through. It hasn't always been that way. In the past, I've chosen to worry, complain, be afraid, depend on myself to fix the problem. That didn't work for me. This time, I'm choosing to lean on God and the comfort He brings. I choose to give my worries and fears to Him.
God never promised we'd have a life free from hurt, trouble, pain or difficulties. The Bible tells us clearly that we will have troubles in this life (John 16:33). Why would He allow these things to happen to us? Well, I believe the answer lies in these two verses from 2 Corinthians. First, He wants to comfort us in our troubles. He wants to help us get through by taking our troubles on Himself and keeping us faithful to Him and His promises. Second, so that we can, in turn, comfort others who are going through something similar. If you've never experienced pain or heartache, how can you understand someone else's? If you've never been broke, how can you understand the fears of someone who can't pay their bills? If you've never lost a loved one, how can you understand the grief of someone who has? If you've never been comforted, how can you comfort someone else?
There is a reason for our difficulties; God knows what that is and it's up to us to trust Him and know it's for our own good. He is always faithful to us; we should always remain faithful to Him.
Heavenly Father, I praise you for the trials in my life. I thank You for the comfort & compassion I can find when I turn to You. Open my eyes to Your plan for me during my times of struggle. Use me to comfort someone else who may be going through similar troubles and bring honor & glory to You. In Jesus' name, Amen.