Suffering is Not an Island

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.  If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-6 ESV

What if all the affliction you faced and the pain you went through were not just for yourself? We know that God uses suffering to test the genuineness of our faith and to keep us steadfast (James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 1:6-7), but He also uses it to comfort others.

Just as Christ’s death brought us comfort and renewal, so our own suffering may bring comfort and renewal to others, through Jesus Christ and for His glory. For when we take comfort from God’s Word during affliction, we can comfort others with the same scripture when they go through similar afflictions. We are all part of the body of Christ after all, and what affects one member will affect the body as a whole.

The next time you reach for your Bible in times of deep sorrow, loneliness, pain or anxiety, and you draw comfort from God’s Word, think how God may use you to comfort others with those same words.

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