Comfort through Christ
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
2 Corinthians 1:4 (NLT)
Why do we say, ‘every cloud has a silver lining’? It is an idiom that conveys the thought that sad or difficult situations have a more hopeful aspect, even though this may not be immediately apparent, so we should never feel hopeless because difficult times lead to better days.
The Apostle Paul testified that even his darkest days were gilded with light. Paul talked openly about the troubles in Asia, nevertheless, listen to Paul’s encouraging words in 2 Corinthians 1:8-10: ‘We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the troubles we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us.’
Paul, and those with him, learnt a valuable lesson from the troubles they experienced in Asia: they stopped relying on themselves and relied only on God; their troubles eased and God delivered them. As a result their confidence in God grew.
Paul could also be referring to his frightening experience in Ephesus when he was caught in the middle of an ugly, dangerous, citywide uprising directed against his ministry (Acts 19:21-41). Whatever it was, Paul said that the troubles were so severe that they were ‘crushed and overwhelmed’, and they expected to die. And yet Paul testified to being comforted in his troubles by God himself, through Christ.
Paul had hard times but in them he learned more about God, he discovered he could trust him more and enjoy God’s comfort.
Yes, there is a silver lining behind every cloud.
Whatever troubles we are going through, or will go through, when we rely on God he will comfort us, as he did with Paul. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Dear Lord, when our hearts are overwhelmed, let us remember that you are our God, our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Study by Dennis Payne
About the writer:
Dennis Payne is a Deacon in the Central London congregation of Grace Communion International.
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