“For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” (2 Corinthians 1:5)
Faith receives the benefits of Christ’s sufferings on our behalf.
This truth resonates with the heart of every Christian believer. As this reality sinks in the depths of our soul, the fruits of joy, peace, patience, and comfort become a part of our life. We forgive because we are forgiven. We exercise patience because the Lord is so patient with us. We proclaim peace because the King of Peace has announced our pardon. All of these blessings come together and flow into our lives like a swollen river. The force is unstoppable. Lives filled up with the presence of Christ can’t help but to crash into others who don’t know Him yet. It’s God’s force of nature colliding with the world. And he uses Christians as his spirit-filled ambassadors to live and proclaim the message of reconciliation as a result of Christ’s sufferings on our behalf.
The desire for comfort prompts most people to desire riches. The need for comfort also prompts those seeking inner peace. People envy the rich, but they also envy those who have spiritual comfort and peace.
Christians receive the benefits of Christ’s comfort typically during times of suffering and trial.
The Bible promises that God will comfort us in every difficult circumstance. For every trouble, worry, or anxiety, Christians are encouraged to trust God and take Him at His Word. Difficult circumstances become opportunities to grow in the faith, to experience His comfort, but also to exhibit His comfort to others.
A life in Christ can see trials in life as not burdens, but opportunities to share the message of salvation with others.
I remember receiving the opportunity to grow in my trust in God’s promises when I was laid off from work. With four young children at home and my wife staying home full-time to care for them, it was a scary proposition. Yet, the Lord provided comfort during this time of uncertainty. Our next-door neighbors, Bob and Jan, took notice of how our family was responding during this trial. As a result, they began investigate Christian churches in the area without our knowledge. Eventually, they received the gospel and trusted in Christ. By faith, they received and experienced the same comfort and peace.
Faith receives the benefits of Christ’s sufferings on our behalf. It is during these opportunities, we can remember five key blessings and benefits:
#1 Difficult circumstances in life can keep us closer to God.
#2 Troubles in life grant opportunities to experience God’s presence.
#3 Difficult circumstances in life invites opportunities to share His Word with others.
#4 Troubles in life builds endurance to overcome anything (2 Cor. 1:6)
#5 Difficult circumstances forces us to rely on God, not on ourselves (2 Cor. 1:9)