2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 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.

I have troubles. God comforts me, perhaps through his word or through another Christian. You have troubles, I comfort you. The comfort I give to you comes from God who gave it to me. Now my troubles have purpose, meaning. They teach me deep dependence on God even in the night season. Suffering in this life is not necessarily retribution for wickedness, but it can serve to refine us.

Over twenty years ago, my wife and I lost our first born baby during childbirth. We were devastated, but we had no place else to turn to but God. I remember crying uncontrollably in the shower where I could finally release the tears in private. Then I began to sing praises to God while floods of comfort came over my soul. Later friends would come by wanting to comfort me but not knowing what to say. I found myself comforting them with the comfort with which I had been comforted of God.

God is good.


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