OUR SETBACK, THEIR BREAKTHROUGH
LIFE Devotions–June 8, 2016
“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]
What good can come out of affliction? What purpose hides behind meaningless trauma? When hope becomes a fog and joy seems to run away at every breath, what can we look forward to? What shall we do when waking up feels like a nightmare and going to sleep a longed for reality? Would a bird make sense if it had no wings? Would the ocean have purpose if it had no water? Would the sun deserve to exist if it had no light? Is human life worth living when it’s closed in by affliction on every side?
Painful seasons are usually seen as a waste of life but God sees them as incubators and multipliers of His comfort. For believers in Christ, adversity becomes a magnet for supernatural encouragement that comes directly from God. He is close to the broken and visits them with comfort that engulfs the heart. A Christian that suffers is simply being upgraded to become a better minister of compassion, an experienced ambassador of hope for those in need. For it is in the fire of hardships alone that God gives us a new skill, the ability to sympathize, the capacity to care for the downcast with the same care He gave us during our difficult time.
Who can better comfort the weary than someone who has been comforted by God through the deepest pits of depression and darkness? Who can better encourage an abandoned spouse than someone who has been encouraged by God through the agony of rejection? Your plight right now may not seem to have any purpose at all, but God can turn your mess into a message of hope for someone else down the road. God can turn your misery into a powerful ministry for others in need a few years later. When we keep Christ as Lord during the storms of life, personal setbacks soon become breakthroughs for others. Our afflictions become the womb where God's comfort develops and our lives the channels through which it flows down into the hearts of others.
– In the midst of your pain, fall into the arms of God and allow His Spirit–the Great Counselor and Comforter–to fill you with life and eternal hope. Think about the cross and how Jesus suffered for you so you would not give up in your trial.
– What have you gone through in life that God may use to help someone who is hurting? Is someone you know going through the pain of miscarriage, abortion, betrayal, abandonment, eviction, bankruptcy, sickness, etc.? Reach out and build someone up with God's comfort. Let God bring new redemptive purpose to your pain as you encourage others.