Proverbs 3-5 2 Corinthians 1
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is the Father who is full of mercy and all comfort. He comforts us every time we have trouble, so when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NCV)
I think some of the Christians in Corinth were ready to give up. That’s just my opinion, of course, but Paul’s previous letters and the circumstances of life as a Christian in a pagan, Roman city must have been getting to some of the people in the church. As the pressure got to them, they figured that God was punishing them for something, and maybe it wasn’t worth it to follow Christ. Paul went into full reassurance mode: God doesn’t punish us with what we deserve, He’s full of mercy; when we go through troubles, God comforts us so that we can comfort others going through similar troubles. Contrary to the preaching of some, God doesn’t desire that we be happy – He desires that all people would come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.
As noted before, what I say here is my opinion. I’ve found out that not everyone appreciates my opinion, so feel free to disagree. That being said, I don’t believe God inflicts troubles on anyone. We all go through troubles, though, because life happens. If it rains on the just and the unjust, troubles also come to the just and the unjust. Following Christ doesn’t prevent us from having trouble; following Christ means that when trouble comes, we’re never alone and we don’t need to lose hope. As Paul asked the Romans, “what can separate us from the love of Christ?” We’ve experienced this truth in our own lives as my wife has dealt with cancer. Twice. Her reaction and attitude towards her battles with cancer caused many people to deal with their health and get appropriate health checks. At the same time, others have become stronger in their faith as they watched Lucy overcome these troubles with grace, dignity, and faith. While we should never seek trouble, we should trust God in the midst of it and recognize the opportunity to show others God’s grace as we deal with the problems life throws at us. As someone noted in the past, the Bible promises us two things: 1) we’ll always have trouble; and 2) God will be with us always. We can face the future with confidence because of God’s love and presence.
Lord, I wish I could go through life without any troubles. Since troubles will come, I’m thankful that You’re always with me. Help me to live with grace as I deal with my troubles, knowing that You still love me and You’re supporting me as I overcome.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.