There is an insidious kind of lie that has crept into our wisdom and made a nest among the proverbs; this kind of lie looks true but hides a deep and infectious deceit. These lies rot away the initiative to do good by placing an undue burden on us. They make us feel like we always fall short.

Paul wanted to inoculate the ever-troubled people of Corinth against one such lie, and it is the one we will expose today.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.** For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too**. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.
2 Corinthians 1:3-7

“Don’t complain. Someone has it worse than you.”

This is the lie you tell yourself. The truth is, to receive comfort yourself does not take away the capacity for another to be comforted. Paul reassured the reader that God gives comfort to those who have endured suffering so that each one can then go forth and be a comfort to others.

There is an abundant supply of this comfort from God. There is no need to look down on or minimize the suffering of others, as the Enemy would have us selfishly do. Rather, so that the abundant comfort of God may be shown, we both gladly accept and graciously pass on that comfort, resulting in Him being glorified.

Notice also the presence of hope in this passage; in the Bible hope is not a fond wish, it is an assurance which inspires the determination to persevere. Paul and his companions can see the future of the listener. You not only continue on through bad times, but are able to accept comfort with Grace and be lifted up so that you can pass that on.

And so, through the abundant comfort in the Lord, each of us allow comfort as each needs it and comfort others in their own moments of suffering.

Ethan Kirl

Originally Published March 8, 2021