Focal Passage: 2 Corinthians 1:3-11
In the classic book, The Count of Monte Cristo, the protagonist Edmond Dantes is wrongfully imprisoned by a trio of enemies. During his imprisonment, he meets the Abbé Faria who befriends the broken Dantes. Over the course of time, the aged and dying priest bequeaths to Dantes his knowledge of the prison, his plan to escape, his understanding of culture, science and the humanities, and also the location of his vast wealth on the Island of Monte Cristo.
With this knowledge, Dantes can withstand his imprisonment, complete his escape, collect the treasure and change his identity.
Either you have suffered, you are suffering or you will suffer. In a fallen world, pain is inevitable, but for the Christian, such pain is invaluable.
Whether the trial be natural or external, God uses suffering to shape us into the image of Christ. Then, as He comforts us in all our troubles, He empowers us to go and comfort others in kind. The story of Dantes is tragic. For all the comfort he received from his friend during his imprisonment, he allowed bitterness to grow.
We have a choice when we face suffering. We can grow bitter and withdraw. Or we can receive the comfort only God can give and use it to display His glory and to pray and to work on behalf of others in need.
Might our prayer always be, “Make me a channel of blessing today, Make me a channel of blessing, I pray; My life possessing, my service blessing, Make me a channel of blessing today.”