Focal passage: 2 Corinthians 1:3-14
Enjoying God’s comfort – what an interesting combination of words. We know what it means to enjoy something. We can think of our favorite activity, or our favorite ice cream, and how much we “enjoy” those things. When we think of comfort, we might think about a faithful friend’s shoulder to cry on.
So when we think the comfort is from God, well … who wouldn’t want the comfort of the Lord? But it is about that time we realize the painful truth about comfort – we only recognize true comfort when it comes alongside suffering and pain.
So, even if the best way for us to experience God’s comfort is to be in the midst of suffering of some kind, I doubt we, as Christians, are simply looking for opportunities to suffer. Quite the contrary, we often are seeking to get out of a painful situation as soon as possible.
Author and pastor John Piper says that Christians often miss opportunities to allow God’s glory to shine through them in their time of distress. Rather than allowing for God to manifest His strength in our weakness, we allow our weakness to be on display as we squirm like a worm in hot ashes, trying to find the quickest way out of our immediate un-comfortable situation.
In so doing, we miss out on a great opportunity to demonstrate God’s faithfulness as we “enjoy” or rest in God’s comfort, even in the midst of very painful circumstances.
My buddy Bryan is a great example of one who enjoys God’s comfort – even in the midst of painful circumstances – because he knows that during those times God is working to demonstrate His power and glory.
During a recent hospitalization where Bryan’s heart stopped seven times in 24 hours, he was immediately seeking to testify of God’s comfort and goodness as soon as the breathing tube could be taken out of his throat. Did his circumstances change? No. Was God’s comfort on display in Bryan’s situation for others to see? Absolutely!
May we enjoy God’s comfort in our suffering – for God’s glory!