Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2 Corinthians 1:3 & 4
It seems to me that whenever we find ourselves as humans suffering in this life, we turn for help to just about everyone and everyplace for relief, making God our last resort, when He should be the first One we turn to. If we believe God is sovereign and in control, that He loves us, that He knows all things and has purposes for all things, it seems logical to me that we would want to find out what He is up to right away during a time of hardship. (see Romans 8:28) I believe God allows some afflictions into our life as a means of exposing who and what we are really trusting in; this is a mercy of God to expose an improper faith so we can repent of any deception or false hope we may be harboring deep in our mind and heart. God also allows afflictions to purify us, to deepen our faith and character, to prove Himself to unbelievers who may be watching our life, or for many other valid reasons. The focus of the text for this message is that whatever we are facing, we must go the God to find comfort and hope, and that He also wants to use us to help others. God is the creator of our souls and He is the designer of our ability to feel emotions and thoughts about life. The Lord is a personal being who also has these same abilities, and He has made us “in His image” with these capacities. (Genesis 1:26-27) Who could better help us in a time of need and affliction than the One who made us and knows all that we are facing? We find this comfort in our time with the Lord in prayer, Bible study and when we are together with other believers as the body of Christ. As we quiet our soul with God and focus on Him and His Word, we will find that the Spirit of God will speak to our spirit and bring a sense of healing and peace. If we run from God and seek help elsewhere, we will find peace and healing to be elusive. However, as Christians, we have God’s Holy Spirit in us to be used by God as His servants for love and truth. As brothers and sisters of the faith who belong to Jesus Christ, we can be of great help and use by God in the comfort of one another. When we make ourselves available to God to use as He leads, and then step out in faith to help each other, we can be a source of great blessing and healing to one another. If we ourselves have gone through a great affliction, we can use that pain and experience to help someone else find victory and comfort also. We have to be “in tune” with God to do this and not just living for ourselves! Far too many Christians have detached themselves from faithful belonging to the body of Christ and therefore are not even available to help others as we are designed for. I have had many a Christian tell me how lonely they are and how they do not have help in their life, yet is is a situation of their own making as they do not even practice faithful church attendance or even try to develop relationships with other believers. Let us commit to seeking the Lord each and every day and staying faithful to Him by our worshiping and serving in a church fellowship. It is by living God’s ordained way that we will be able to both give and receive comfort in times of affliction!
Pastor Gary Houdek