When You’re Subjected to Hardship
Paul was no stranger to trouble.
The apostle Paul experienced great hardships in his pursuit to spread the gospel. He was severely beaten(on multiple occasions), and arrested and imprisoned (several times) for spreading the gospel. The threat of persecution kept him constantly on the move, subjecting him to dangerous situations. In addition to the persecution from those opposed to the gospel, Paul also faced other perils from bodily discomfort, bandits, rivers, and the sea (2 Corinthians 11:16-33).
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Paul may have experienced trouble, but He knew God was good and merciful. In today’s verse Paul reminds us that our God is compassionate. God isn’t uncaring. He won’t leave us stranded in the middle of our trials.
When Paul was in Macedonia he was subjected to conflict and harassment at every turn. God doesn’t end Paul’s hardship, but he doesn’t leave Paul disheartened about his situation either; he sends Titus to share good news. In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians we see that this encouraging news gave him great comfort and joy in the midst of a hard situation. Paul experienced God’s goodness and mercy when God sent Titus to comfort him in his time of need (2 Corinthians 7:2-7) .
God may not end our hardship, but He will comfort us while we’re in the brunt of it.
Has God ever sent someone to comfort you when you needed it most? God will use those around us to bring us comfort. It may come when He sends someone to assist us in the midst of a tough situation or through a friend delivering the encouraging words we desperately need to hear as He did with Paul.
Today’s verse also reminds us that God comforts us so that we can comfort others. Has God sent someone to help you in your time of need? Look for an opportunity to extend a helping hand to someone else when they need it most. Did God reveal an encouraging message to you through the words of a friend? Share it with someone who needs to hear it!
When God comforts us in the middle of our trials it’s important we don’t keep it to ourselves. You never know who might be in need of a helping hand or an encouraging word. There may be people in our midst that need to be reminded of God’s goodness. When we experience God’s goodness, compassion, and mercy let’s share it with those around us.
Lord, you are the great comforter! I praise you for your goodness and mercy! You are a loving and compassionate God. Help me to remember that I’m not alone in my hardships—for you are always with me. Give me the eyes to recognize those who are in need of your comfort and the heart to minister to their needs. Lord, I thank you for the many ways you comfort me when I need it. In Jesus’ name Amen!
Thank you for joining us. I’m excited to jump into God’s word with you and study the Fruits of Kindness & Goodness! This article is a part of our current series, Sweet Smelling Fruit—Cultivating a Heart that Lives by the Spirit. Right now we are taking a closer look at kindness and goodness.
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