It is easy to say to someone that God will comfort you in your sorrow or in your affliction. But sometimes those words do not bring the “comfort” intended. The Apostle Paul writes in this passage (below) as a man who knows trouble. He is writing as a man who knows trouble to a people who are facing trouble.
“He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:4
While we do not face the same persecution and pressures the earliest Christians faced, it is always a costly thing to be a “real’ Christian. Christianity does not exist without the cross. As believers in Christ we have hope – a promise for the future. Anytime you see the word “comfort” in the New Testament it means much more than soothing sympathy. Comfort comes from the Latin word fortis. And fortis means brave.
As I write this, many in the southeastern part of our nation are bracing for possibly the worst hurricane to ever come out of the Atlantic Ocean, Irma. This will certainly bring hardship and affliction to many. And it comes just two weeks after one of the worst storms (hurricanes) ever to hit south east Texas, not to mention a deadly earthquake in Mexico, wildfires in California and other natural disasters around the world.
Affliction is part of this world we live in. In the scripture passage above, the Apostle Paul writes that God comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort others facing affliction. As believers in god we know to pray for those in affliction. We also should be ready to comfort them in and through their affliction.
Later in the same passage from 2nd Corinthians Paul writes, “And our hope for you is firm, because we know that as you share in the sufferings, so you will share in the comfort.” Let us not grow weary in well doing. Let us not neglect the opportunity to comfort (fortis) others in their time of affliction.
George Yates is a Life Purpose Coach and Church Health Strategist assisting individuals, churches, and organizations in fulfilling their God-given purpose in life. Visit SonC.A.R.E. Ministries online and see the leadership resources available