December 8, 2019
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Learning from the God of All Comfort
2 Corinthians 1:3-7
The pain of affliction, antagonism, opposition, and struggle is never far-off from any believer who takes a stand for Christ in resistance to the culture. Too often, unfortunately, living so close to the culture, the passion becomes stronger for avoiding the problem than for standing on truth. Similarly, Jesus Christ faced a much more profound affliction as he suffered more than any other human when he went head to head against the religious culture of his day. In the midst of this suffering, however, he provided the most significant blessing of grace and comfort for all who believe in him.
Paul presented one of the most significant insights for dealing with affliction—God has purposes for suffering. Paul reveals that pain is not the end goal of our misery. Instead, it is the means by which God brings comfort and help to others. Principally, everything God has determined in our life, whether spiritual gifts, the fruit of the Spirit, or even trials, are designed to accomplish His purposes in ministering to others. Just as Jesus “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mk. 10:45) so our life is not about serving ourselves, but serving others for the glory of Jesus Christ.
The biblical perspective:
The biblical practice: