“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. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-11
In the last few weeks we have been considering why God allows suffering into the lives of His children. Additionally, we have considered why a believer should hold on to his faith in the midst of suffering. First, the believer should hold on to his faith because of who God is. He is the all-knowing, all-powerful God who is faithful to His children. Secondly, we should hold on to our faith because of what God does.
Look at verses 3, 4, and 10 in 2 Corinthians 1: “The Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles…He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us…”
First, God comforts us. How does He do this? In John 14:16 Jesus said, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.” This word “counselor” comes from the Greek word “parakletos” which means “called to one’s side” or “to one’s aid.” The Holy Spirit indwells the believer and He is our comforter. He is always with us and comforts us in our hour of need.
Not only does He comfort us, but He delivers us. In verse 10, Paul states that “He has delivered us…He will deliver us…and He will continue to deliver us.” God has delivered us from Satan’s grip. We have been set free from our bondage to sin. Additionally, God continues to deliver us from daily temptations and one day we will be completely set free from sin. But, God also delivers us from our trials. He may not deliver us as soon as we want, but He does promise deliverance at some point.
There are two primary reasons God allows difficulties into the lives of His children. First, God allows pain in our lives so that we can experience His comfort and know that it is real, and then, in turn, we can comfort others. Second, God allows pain into our lives so we will rely on Him and not ourselves.
When God doesn’t make sense, hold on to your faith. Why? Because of who God is and what He does. He comforts us. He has delivered us. He is delivering us. And He will deliver us. “On Him we have set our hope.”