For Our Comfort


            Paul, when he writes his second letter to the church at Corinth, says some interesting things in the first chapter that I overlooked the last time I read it. Here is what Paul says in verse 6, "If WE are distressed, it is for YOUR comfort and salvation. Immediately the two words underlined jumped out at me. Who is "we" and "you" that Paul is speaking of? If we look at verse 1 we see Paul along with Timothy are writing this letter to believers who are living in Corinth. So just as we would read a letter, we see that Paul and Timothy are the "we" and the church is the "you." So now we can read it as "If (Paul and Timothy) are distressed, it is for (the church at Corinth's) comfort and salvation. Hmmm...Paul just got done saying God comforts us so we can comfort others and then THIS statement.

           If you have been dealing with pain for any length of time you know that people are watching your life to see how you react to difficulty and trials. It's important to recognize here that Paul invites the church to look closely at how he and Timothy are dealing with their distress. He wants the people in the church to see how they are dealing with it so as to strengthen them and give them comfort, knowing they, too, can make it through the trials they are going through and then give praise to God.

           We can learn so much of our suffering and the suffering of others, can't we. We learn that suffering, if done biblically, produces  patience, endurance, hope, love, and compassion.  It teaches us there is purpose through the pain we endure. God is using YOU to reach others and provide them comfort and salvation! What an awesome God we serve. This is a good study to do...Read through 2 Corinthians today and reflect on those who have gone before us, fighting the good fight, keeping the faith, depending on God and comforting others-lest we give up! And may we always remember- our pain is part of God's plan! He is merciful and loving and our hope needs to be in Him alone!


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