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Comforted to be a comfort

Currently, I find myself in an in-depth study of the Beatitudes found in the beginning of Matthew 5. I’ve spent time in this passage before, in fact much time, but this is what I love about God’s Word—it’s always alive; it’s always active; it’s always penetrating. So, the beauty of that is even though you or I might be super familiar with a certain passage of Scripture, God can always reveal something new to us through it every time.

Because His Word is alive and active. Because His Word is relevant. Because His Word is truth.

So, as I was pouring over Matthew 5:4 this morning, this is the “new thing” that hit me:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

To start, I’ve always loved this passage in 2 Corinthians. I’ve loved it because I’ve witnessed it to be true in my own life. God has faithfully revealed to me that every trial and difficulty I’ve endured in this life has never been without a divine purpose. The pain has never been in vain. He’s always desired to use it in some way for my good and ultimately for His glory. I’ve seen it over and over again. He’ll bring me through a particular hardship, and just on the other side of that valley will be someone who is going through the very same thing. Having just gone through it myself by the grace and through the strength of God, I am now equipped to comfort that person with the same comfort that Christ has given me in my own time of need.

But here’s the “ah-ha” moment for me today. I had never connected Matthew 5:4 with 2 Corinthians 1:3-5. Not sure why I never had, but I hadn’t. Read the beatitude below:

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (NIV)

Simple enough to interpret, right? Here’s the interesting part. The mourning that this verse is referring to isn’t what you and I might think at first glance. It’s actually describing a godly sorrow over sin. Essentially, this type of mourning is when you and I come to agreement with God over the matter of our personal sin. Sin grieves the heart of God. When sin grieves our own hearts, then this beatitude will become a reality in our lives. We will experience the comfort of the Lord.

And while all trial and hardship that we experience in life isn’t necessarily directly linked to our own personal sin, I can certainly speak for myself on this one and say that I believe much of mine has been. The tendency that exists within all of us to want to lead our own lives, make our own decisions, control the details with little to no consulting the Lord, it’s no wonder that we find ourselves in places of brokenness, right? This has certainly been true of much of my own life, and what I’ve learned through it all is that when I finally hit my knees over my waywardness, wandering, and unwillingness to allow God to lead, He meets me in those places of mourning and comforts my soul.

Have you ever experienced the comfort of the Lord like this before? If you have, read through 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 one more time:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

And here’s the take-away for today:

We are comforted to be comforters. God comforts us in our time of need so that we can comfort others in their time of need. So, how are you walking this out in your daily life? Are you the Christian sponge—the one who sits and soaks and loves to leave church full so that you can just live off the reserve until next week, not ready or willing to give any of it out to others? Or do you recognize that you are blessed to be a blessing? That you are comforted in order to comfort others?

Let’s be like Jesus in this, friends. Let’s look for opportunities to give Him out today.


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