We all go through stormy seasons. Trouble has been promised. Suffering is simply a part of the Christian life. But have you considered the reason why? Today we will briefly look at one reason for a stormy season:
(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. (6) 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. (7) Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:3-7)
You see here that we experience stormy seasons so that we will receive the comfort of our God. And we receive God’s comfort “so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction.” What a privilege we have been given, to be vessels that communicate God’s comfort into the lives of others who are currently in the fire of affliction! This knowledge should empower us to praise God during life’s storms, rather than complain or pity ourselves.
Think about this for a moment: when we are buffeted by stormy winds, our God does not bring cosmic comfort to make us comfortable; He brings it to make us better comforters! History teaches us that lighthouses have been built by ship-wrecked sailors . . . roads widened after multi-car pileups . . . and traffic lights installed because of the death of a motorist. It’s an uncomfortable truth that when nobody suffers, nobody really grows. Suffering makes us sensitive to our own humanity, forces us to reach out to our God for His resources of strength, and equips us to bring comfort to others who are dealing with the same human condition.
In verse 5 we see that we find our comfort through our relationship with Jesus. He endured the stormiest season that ever blew across the face of this earth, and He endured it without any comfort at all from His Father in heaven. He endured the full cup of God’s wrath while He hung on the cross on Golgotha’s Hill . . . and He endured it alone. You remember His despairing cry: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46.) Why did He experience that? So that you and I would never have to.
Jesus went without comfort as He secured our salvation for us. So today, as we live out that so-great salvation, we will never be without the comfort of our God, no matter what stormy season we are facing. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). This Gospel truth should encourage us to encourage others . . . inspire us to inspire others . . . comfort us to comfort others. Now that’s a grace-filled reason for a stormy season!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!