Key Verse: Verse 4 – "Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."
Key Words: Who comforteth us in all our tribulation
Of all the letters Paul wrote, II Corinthians is when the Apostle Paul lifts his veil of privacy and allows us to catch a glimpse of his personal life, his human frailties and needs, his suffering and pain. It is in this letter that Paul records his anguish, tears, affliction, and opposition, both human and satanic.
In II Corinthians, chapter one, six times Paul talks about comfort during times of trial and pain. The key phrase, though, is found in the last four words of verse 3, God of all comfort. In verse 4 Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, tells us that we should learn from our experiences of pain (see verse 4).
In verses 4, 9, and 11, Paul shares with us three reasons for our pain.
- Verse 4 – that we may be able to comfort others who are afflicted. Is it not true that people are more apt to listen and draw comfort from us if they know that we genuinely understand the pain they feel?
- Verse 9 – that we should not trust in ourselves. Through our pain we learn that we indeed are weak and we learn to lean on God. The express train of heaven seldom is announced by a warning bell. It comes suddenly and leaves behind pain and the reality that, indeed, the flesh is weak. We must trust in God, not ourselves.
- Verse 11 – that thanks may be given. Thanks to God but thanks to others for their help during our times of pain. It is during the times of pain and suffering that we realize how God can and does use others in the comforting process.
What to do:
✞ Trials do one of two things: 1) they make you a better servant, or 2) they enslave you. Be used in trials; let trials make you useable.
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