Focal passage: 2 Corinthians 1:2-7
Before he ever became a famous preacher and had denominations which claimed him as their founder, John Wesley was a preacher who had never met Jesus. He had gone to the American colonies and experienced a failed pastorate and failed romance in Savannah, Ga.
On his return voyage to England the vessel he was sailing upon encountered a horrific storm. While he and the others held on for dear life and were overcome with fear, Wesley noticed that a group of German Christians sang hymns of praise to God almost as if they did not notice the violent shaking of the ship and the salty water drenching them.
The attitude of these Christians (the Moravians) in the midst of a frightening time made a deep impression upon Wesley. In fact, what Wesley witnessed on that vessel played a strong part in his later conversion.
Perhaps you have never had the same experience as Wesley, but surely we’ve all had difficulties in life – losing a loved one, a broken or strained relationship or a doctor’s discouraging prognosis. It is during these difficult times that we learn that our God is “the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles …” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). God is the source of true comfort for the believer. However, since God comforts us as Christians, we are required to comfort others with his love and comfort; Paul goes on to add that God comforts us “… so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:4). Paul experienced hardship and learned God’s comfort in the face of his difficulties. The lessons we learn through trouble can help us to comfort others when they are facing those same troubles. How has God comforted you in a difficult time in your life? Do you know someone who is going through a trial that you have already completed? Have you considered sharing with them how God comforted you when you faced a similar situation? Let’s remember God spoke to us through Isaiah: “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God” (Isaiah 40:1).