Comfort in tribulation

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. 2 Cor. 1:3-4

The Bible never tells us that God will always deliver us from trouble. Sometimes he does, but not always - at least, not yet. But it uniformly says that he will deliver us in and through trials. Thus the apostle in another place writes, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us" (Rom. 8:35-37). In this he is only following the prophets of old, like Isaiah, who comforted Israel with these mighty words: "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour" (Isa. 43:2-3).

So when we find ourselves in trouble, let us not think that it is because God is not in control. Nor let us think that it is because God is unloving or unkind. Nor let us think that it is always because we did not have enough faith. Rather, it is part of God's plan to bring us through the waters in order to give us such comfort and grace and strength that we would not have experienced otherwise, and apart from which we would have been much poorer. It is for this reason that Paul would later tell the Corinthians, when relating to them the trial he had to endure with the thorn in the flesh, "And he [God] said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong" (2 Cor. 12:9-10).

By: Jeremiah Bass