“Share God’s Consolation” ( 2 Corinthians 1: 3-4, NEB ) by Carley Evans

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the all-merciful Father, the God whose consolation never fails us! He comforts us in all our troubles, so that we in turn may be able to comfort others in any trouble of theirs and to share with them the consolation we ourselves receive from God.”

Paul encourages us with the truth that God’s “consolation never fails us!” He reminds us that “we suffer with [Christ].”

And, oddly enough, our sufferings have a purpose. “As Christ’s cup of suffering overflows, and we suffer with Him, so also through Christ our consolation overflows.” (2 Corinthians 1:5-6) Our consolation overflows to others, to our brothers and sisters in Christ and also to the world at large. As we know God’s comfort, so we are able to — and called to — comfort others. And we are able to — and called to — comfort others “in any trouble of theirs.” We do not need to have experienced that specific trouble to be able to offer comfort. Why? Because “through Christ our consolation overflows” to the other person; and Christ knows that person’s suffering in a way we can never know.

Therefore, “share with [others] the consolation we ourselves receive from God.” We each can be a blessing in times of trouble.

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