Monday, April 28, 2014

The Path of Comfort

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. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

To me, this is one of the most comforting verses in the Bible. Pun intended.

I love the fact that it points out one of the purposes of trials and sufferings. To experience God's comfort and to pass that comfort on to others.

To be like a fountain. Letting God's comfort continually flow in, through and out of you. Whatever the trials and sufferings you are experiencing.

I think that as we get a little farther from a trial or a bit farther along the path of a trial, we start to empathize with others in the same type of situation. Whether it is dealing with loss, pain, finances, sickness, death, betrayal or any other of a host of issues.

It is not an empathy born of pride-that I now have all the answers. It is an empathy born of brokenness and dependence and needs met by God Himself.

God is the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our afflictions.

This winter and spring I have experienced the comfort of God as He answered prayers prayed in absolute desperation. Prayers for mercy. Prayers for direction. Prayers for understanding. Prayers for peace. Some big prayers and some small prayers.

This winter and spring I have experienced the comfort of God in His presence. At a time when I have felt the loneliest I have ever felt in my entire life. I have felt His presence and love when the pain is so sharp it stabs me like a knife and takes my breath away.

This winter and spring I have experienced the comfort of God as He heals broken hearts and broken relationships.

This winter and spring I have experienced the comfort of God as His people have opened their arms, hearts, lives and resources to me and mine, to minister to us in our time of need.

In. Through. Out.

I am praying that God will use me as a conduit of His comfort to others. That I will see broken people who need comfort and that I will be a channel.

May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

How have you been comforted by God? Who has God brought across your path that He wants you share His comfort with?