Summary: God has plenty of comfort to go around, but we often miss out on it b/c we are looking for comfort in all the wrong places. When God does comfort us, we often waste His comfort. How can we turn this around?
Showering in God’s Comfort
Comforter: One called alongside to help
v.4 God comforts us in all of our troubles
v.5 the more we suffer, the more God showers His comfort on us
God has plenty of comfort to go around, but we often miss out on it b/c we are looking for comfort in all the wrong places. When God does comfort us, we often waste His comfort.
His family all tried to comfort him, but it was no use. "I will die in mourning for my son," he would say, and then begin to weep.
Jacob could not receive comfort from his family. Sometimes we have a hard time receiving comfort from others and from God.
Here is what I am suggesting . . .
Go to God the source of comfort and share in the comfort He wants to shower on you.
v.8,9 Paul experienced being crushed, overwhelmed, thinking he wouldn’t make it, expecting to die.
v.10 God will deliver and rescue
So what does it mean to share in His comfort?
God’s comfort isn’t all about you. Sometimes it is about what God wants you to do after He has comforted you.
You say, I wouldn’t know how to comfort someone else. Oh yes you would.
You comfort others w/ the comfort you have received from God.
Job 21:34 "How can you comfort me? All your explanations are wrong!"
We aren’t supposed to have all the answers. We are not supposed to try to explain to others why they are going through a tough time. We are supposed to listen and share our story with people who are hurting.
•ENDURING W/ PATIENCE
Everyone suffers, but not all receive the benefits of suffering.
If we are to comfort others and help them share in God’s comfort, we have to endure w/ patience.
John Mark couldn’t do it (first missionary journey he left Paul).
Endurance is a mark of maturity. Anyone can start well, it is those who finish that receive the prize.
My eyes are straining to see your promises come true. When will you comfort me?
The Refiner’s Fire
There burns a fire with sacred heat, white hot with holy flame. And all who dare pass through its blaze will not emerge the same. Some is bronze and some is silver, some is gold and with great skill all are hammered by their sufferings on the anvil of His will.
I’m learning now to trust His touch, to crave the fire’s embrace. For though my past with sin was etched, His mercies did erase. Each time His purging cleanses deeper, I’m not sure that I’ll survive. Yet the strength and growing weaker keeps my hungry spirit alive.
And then this great chorus...The Refiner’s fire has now become my sole desire. Purged and cleansed and purified that the Lord be glorified, He is consuming my soul, refining me, making me whole. No matter what I lose I choose the Refiner’s fire.
•RELYING ON GOD
Rely on God who raises the dead.
Even when I walk through the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
Relying on God means praying.
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.