Blake Allen, Campus Pastor, Living Hope Dunbar Cave
2 Corinthians 1:4
3 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 affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
One verse that has been heavy on my heart lately is 2 Corinthians 1:4. When I think about this verse, I think about the trials I have faced in my life. Have you ever wondered why a good and loving God allows us to go through trials and tribulations? Maybe you are suffering through a situation now and you wonder where God is in your trials and why He is allowing you to experience it. Whatever you are facing, you are not alone in your fight. Though we experience difficult times in life due to the reality of sin and brokenness in our world, God is already at work ready to fight your battles. He will turn your troubles into testimonies. And remember, “all things work out for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28). Trust in Him and He will work it out. Here are a couple things to note about your sufferings:
God Allows You To Go Through Trials
God allowed Job to experience loss of family, property, etc. And the only answer Job received from God concerning the reason why was God had wisdom and Job didn’t. We can’t even begin to understand why things happen. But God has a plan and a purpose for you. There is fruit from the trials that you and I can’t see until the reason has been harvested. God’s wisdom is far beyond ours. Sometimes trials can bring us to a pursuit of God’s wisdom through prayer and the word.
God allowed the apostle Paul to experience a trial. Paul referred to some sort of trial in his life as the “thorn in his side”. He prayed three times for the Lord to remove it but it was not removed. Why? The Lord gave Paul these words: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Paul then responds: “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” God’s power was made perfect in Paul’s weakness. Sometimes trials have a way of bringing us back to a dependence upon God.
God allowed the nation of Israel to go through trials. Because of their sin and rebellion against God, they experienced many difficulties. They were conquered by other nations, exiled, etc. God’s purpose for them was to experience blessings, the promise land, and to make them stand out above any other nation. And yet, because they breached their covenant with God, they experienced sufferings. However, they also experienced grace and forgiveness time and time again. We may experience trials due to a result of sin. Sometimes trials have a way of drawing us to a place of repentance and then redemption.
God also allows us to experience sufferings to help others who will go through similar sufferings. The key word to all of this is “allows”. And another reason for allowing your trials to happen is for the benefit of another who will go through sufferings. Your trial becomes a testimony. Your story is meant to be shared with others. And there is power in sharing how God has delivered you from a situation in life. He will use it to help deliver others. It’s like stacking dominos in a line. Once the first one touches the second, the rest of the dominos will also be affected. Have you ever thought your story could be the first domino to so many others’ freedom? Sometimes trials have a way of creating future testimonies.
What I love about 2 Corinthians 1:4 is the reminder that you are not alone in you trials. God, Himself, is ready to embrace you and comfort you through it all. He doesn’t just leave you to hang dry. He is with you in your storm. He will strengthen you. He will comfort you. He will embrace you. God’s wisdom plus His grace plus His forgiveness plus your testimony is a holy recipe for a powerful story! And this story has the potential to set so many people free! Your story matters and God wants to use it. Share it with someone this week. You would be surprised how God can use it for His glory, someone elses’ freedom, and your benefit.
PRAYER FOR TODAY: God, grant me the grace I need to make it through this trial. Grant me your wisdom and strength. Holy Spirit guide me through this life and appoint my times and seasons of sharing hope with others. Thank you for all you’ve done for me and allow you are going to do in and through my life. Amen
MEMORY VERSE FOR THE WEEK:
James 1:12- 12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.