Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia: Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is steadfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation. For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;
II Corinthians 1:1-10
Well, the News is reporting that this week is to usher in the peak of this pandemic, Covid-19. There is an unmistakable need for hope in everyone’s life for sure because worry and fear comes when we are faced with unknowns. You’ve been there before, haven’t you?! I sure have. What did you learn during those unknown times?…What got you through?
This leads me to Part 2 on how to effectively comfort others during heavy trials of life.
In Part 1 we learned how important it is for us to empathize with others by entering into their pain with them. We do this by listening to them and caring for their immediate needs. In Part 2 we will learn the importance of sharing God’s comfort.
2. Share how God has comforted you.
This is exactly what Paul did in II Corinthians 1:8-9. He gives testimony of God’s help and deliverance during an extreme trial when he questioned if he would even survive. His situation was dire and he was beyond human hope. In these verses, he shared how God taught him not to trust in himself or any human resources, but to trust in Him who is able to even raise the dead. God is greater than any human calamity.
(As a side note, I have found that sharing how God has comforted you is best accepted after the person has experienced your care for them. So often when we are in severe heaviness it’s hard to process anything other than someone entering into our pain with us.)
IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND…
• Your testimony provides hope to others who may be despairing.
You survived, so they will as well. Therefore, be real and vulnerable about your own struggles during your time of trial. There is comfort in knowing that they are not alone in struggles with doubts and fears or anger and self-pity. Also, it’s vital to share verses of Scripture that provided encouragement and helped get you through. Sharing personal testimony of victories and answers to prayer breeds hope into a despairing heart.
• Mutual suffering always binds hearts together. My husband has often said
that the ones who provided the most comfort to him during his cancer battle were other cancer survivors.
The body of Christ is strengthened when we share the comfort God has provided us. By sharing Biblical comfort, it not only helps the ones we come alongside, but it also benefits us. It is a mutual strengthening of godly patience and endurance as we face any trial God allows in our lives. May we provide the same comfort to others that God has so graciously given to us.