Today’s Reading: 2 Corinthians 1-4
Today’s Reflection: 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4) 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. 5) For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
Because we live in a world corrupted and tainted by sin, everyone experiences difficulties and challenges—what Paul here refers to as ‘afflictions’. This is true whether we follow Jesus and accept Him as our Lord and Saviour or not. But there is a difference between those who follow Christ and those who do not. Jesus’ followers receive comfort from Him through their afflictions.
But perhaps the most amazing thing is that we who understand the nature of suffering, who have decided to share in Christ’s sufferings when we chose to follow Him, we are now called to comfort others who are afflicted. The intimation here seems to be one of ministry. God ministers comfort to us and we in turn minister comfort to those who do not themselves know God, thus sharing God’s comfort (and indirectly, the gospel of grace) with them.
We who are ourselves in need of comfort become comforters—uncomfortable comforters, if you will. And I think this is an incredibly important part of witnessing to others. People really want to know, what’s the difference whether they follow Jesus or not? Is there any? And one of the most powerful things is to see someone going through difficulties yet still able to smile, stay positive, give praise and glory to their God, and even encourage someone else despite their own troubles. This is a reminder that God isn’t just reconciling man back to Himself, but reconciling us back to each other, enabling us to become the supportive community He originally created us to be.
Romans 12:15-16a – 15) Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16a) Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.