Comfort in Afflictions (Epistle Reading for Thursday)

 

"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. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, [it is] for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, [it is] for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you [is] stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so [shall ye be] also of the consolation" (1 Cor 1:3-7).

God comforts us in our afflictions, and we in turn our able to comfort those who are afflicted, "by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." God is the source of all comfort. Our life is full of temptations and afflictions, but God comforts us in the midst of it all. Just as the Lord saved Peter in the midst of the waves of the stormy sea, he comforts us in the midst of the storms of our life. Indeed, God became man so that "in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted" (Hebrews 2:18).

The Apostle rejoices that, being thus comforted by God, he is able to pass on this comfort to others. "That we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." This is our task as well. In another place, the same apostle urges us to "be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ" (1 Cor 11:1). Life is full of temptations. Let us find our comfort in God, and let us strive with all our powers to pass on that comfort to others.

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