Comforted to Comfort
By Jill Briscoe
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:4
How can I comfort others if I haven’t known what it is to be comforted myself? To effectively administer encouragement, it helps to have experienced the comfort of God myself. In my own life, I have experienced God’s comfort at many times in many ways. I have received His mercy, healing, and help. God did not comfort me only to make me feel better, but so I can comfort others in their pain and difficulty.
Every believer can have a ministry of encouragement because every believer has experienced pain or difficulties of one kind or another and has been comforted by God. It’s hard to think beyond our own needs when trouble hits home, but the comfort we receive from God will be just the comfort others are waiting for!
Paul wrote about his own hardships, pressures, and despair, but he saw a twofold purpose behind them. One purpose was that Paul and his companions learned to depend, not on themselves, but on God. The second purpose behind Paul’s sufferings seems to be that the Corinthian believers needed to learn how to pray for those experiencing hardship. A ministry of comfort is born from trouble, but those in trouble must be bathed in prayer. There is a comfort, born in others’ prayers, that always lifts the spirit, strengthens the will, and sets the heart on fire for God. None of this could happen without troubles.
Are you aware of those around you who need comfort? God has comforted you so that you can comfort them.
Suggested Reading: 2 Corinthians 1:1-11
Lord, I realize that I have learned to trust You through difficult times and that You have been my comfort. Help me to recognize the people You bring into my life that need comfort from You through me. Remind me that as You were there for me, I need to make hurting people You lead me to a priority. Amen.