We talked about God being the Father of Compassion and the God of all Comfort - the perfect source of comfort when we are need - on Monday. Today we are going to talk about the fact that we will suffer, we will endure hard times, we will face trials. But in those trials and troubles, we are able to experience God.
For just as Christ’s [own] sufferings fall to our lot [as they overflow upon His disciples, and we share and experience them] abundantly, so through Christ comfort (consolation and encouragement) is also [shared and experienced] abundantly by us. 2 Corinthians 1:5 AMP
The overflowing of suffering AND comfort. Paul is saying that sure we will have difficulties. In fact, hardships will abound! But just as we have an abundance of suffering, we will be overwhelmed with comfort and consolation. Ironic it seems, but as Christians the two – suffering and comfort – really do go hand in hand. Our relationship with Christ guarantees suffering, but it also guarantees His comfort!
There are many times that I find myself praying for someone who is going through a “trouble” or hardship in life. This difficult situation may be tragic, or just a temporary trial. But, God has taught me lately that when I pray for these people and their situations I am to pray that God Himself will be revealed to them. I truly believe that His word teaches that His glory is revealed through our sufferings and trials. Many think that “His glory revealed” speaks of heaven or His return. No doubt it does. However, I believe that His glory is also revealed all around us here on earth if we look for it. What is God’s glory? What are we searching for? Christian author, teacher, and speaker Beth Moore says, “God’s glory is the way He makes Himself recognizable.”
Think of the people in the Bible that God used in extraordinary ways to accomplish His purposes and make Himself recognizable. Abraham. Moses. Daniel. Mary and Martha, sisters of Lazarus. The disciples. Paul. Can you think of one of them that did not go through a trial or some form of trouble?
In every situation above, God’s glory was ultimately revealed. He “was recognizable” in these difficult situations to show who He is to not only the one involved in the trial, but also the spectators looking on! Difficulties that we face ultimately reveal God to us and others. They often bring an intimacy with God we have never experienced before.
So now, I ask you, are you looking for “TROUBLE?” Probably not. In fact, you are probably hoping that your relationship with Christ can grow without all the difficulties and heartache. No, we would never ask for hardships in life. But, when troubles come, and they will, we need to meet them with the longing and the anticipation of a closer walk with the Lord. Because on the other side of that trouble is the knowledge and experience that God has revealed Himself and shown Himself to be the God of comfort and the Father of compassion.
I want you to know that I am praying for you today, my friend. God loves you, He has a plan for your life, and He will never leave you or forsake you. He wants to reveal Himself to you.
Living for ONE by getting off the throne,
Linking with Winsome Wednesday, Internet Cafe Devotions, and Getting Down with Jesus