“For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:5). Half of that scripture makes me frown, and the other half makes me smile. Can you guess which is which?
I don’t like knowing that suffering is mine in abundance. That isn’t one of the promises of God I want to claim and believe for. Yet, there it is; our life WILL have suffering. What kind of suffering? If it is to be like Christ’s we can expect persecution, being misunderstood and betrayal at the very least.
On the other hand, when our life is a bowl of cherry pits, what else can we expect? Here is the part which enables us to go on: God’s abundant comfort. Sometimes it is hard to see through the eyes of suffering but we should look a little harder because it IS there.
There can be a silver lining to any suffering we go through. God promises that He “is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18) I’ve experienced that myself. In the midst of crushing anguish comes a deep sense of the Lord’s nearness and comfort. Hard as things are, there is hope to get to the other side because God’s hand is reaching out to steady the way.
You might as well embrace whatever inevitable suffering finds its way into your life because you can’t avoid it anyhow. Then reach for God’s outstretched hand. His comfort is just as certain.