While speaking to a group of Christian athletes, I asked them how they normally responded to hardships. Their responses included fear, anger, self-pity, aggression, despair, abusive behavior, apathy, and turning to God. I encouraged them to trust that God would comfort them and then use them to comfort others.
Just as I encouraged those athletes, Paul encouraged a group of believers in a town called Corinth. He reminded them that afflictions were inevitable for the follower of Jesus. Many were being persecuted, imprisoned, and oppressed — all because of their relationship with Jesus. Paul wanted the Corinthians to know that in the midst of their trouble, God was their source of help. He would come to their side and help them to have godly responses. Then Paul gave one of the reasons God allowed suffering and brought divine comfort — so that the Corinthians might have the empathy to enter into other people’s sorrow and comfort them (2 Cor. 1:4).
When we suffer, let us remember that God will bring comfort to us through His Word, by the Holy Spirit, and through fellow believers. God does not comfort us so that we’ll be comfortable; we are comforted by God so that we might be comforters.
– Marvin Williams
When you receive God’s comfort,
Be sure to pass it on,
Then give to God the glory
From whom the comfort’s drawn
When God permits trials, He also provides comfort.