Lamentations 1:1-2, 6-12; Psalm 69:1-23;
2 Corinthians 1:1-7; Mark 11:12-25
I really enjoy a passage from 2 Corinthians that is in our readings today. I find it very inspirational, and I hope you do, too. The passage, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, is this: “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 have received from God.”
Many times I mistakenly equate “comfort” with “my troubles should go away.” This is true if someone close to me comforts me or if God comforts me. When I was a child, I expected my mother to make everything all right. Today I sometimes expect God to make everything right. After all, I am a good person, a servant of God. Shouldn’t he help make my troubles go away when I am in need? However, when I begin to feel that way I have to remind myself what Paul means when he uses the word comfort in this passage.
Paul reminds us that God’s comfort means receiving the strength, encouragement, and hope to deal with our troubles or trials. The greater our troubles, or the more we suffer, the more God comforts us. The very good news is that as children of God we can ask for and allow him to comfort us. His comfort will get us through any trial we face in this life.
Why do we face trials in the first place? We face these trials for several reasons. Trials allow our faith to grow – our faith that God will get us through the trials. They allow us to experience God getting us through them. By experiencing these trials, we can now comfort others who experience similar trials. Paul points this out in the passage: “ … so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” Sometimes we go through a trial for our own growth. Sometimes we go through a trial to help someone else grow. And sometimes we go through a trial for both.
Let’s remember to have faith in God to get us through our trials. Genuine faith has great potential!