Take encouragement because God is there in your afflictions. Verse 4 – “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.”
Afflictions come in all different shapes and sizes. Sickness, financial difficulty, loss of a loved one, an unsure future, an auto accident. But also, and this is something very important, affliction occurs in the heart in that place where we get frustrated, confused, and hurt.
Why do we have afflictions? Because we live in a fallen world. And it takes a world with trouble in it to train Christians for their high calling as children of God and to carve upon their souls the features of the face of Christ. James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (NIV)
So then, afflictions are a way of making you better. And that is how they should be tackled: as the testing and strengthening of your faith — through the comfort and mercy of Jesus.
YOU SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED BECAUSE YOU CAN BE INSTRUMENTS OF COMFORT TO OTHERS. Verse 4 ” . . . 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.”
This glorifies God to comfort others. Being used by God makes you feel good – that isn’t the only reason to help someone, but it does feel good when the Holy Spirit uses you to do good.
You need to praise God that you have even had afflictions so that you can be able to help others. How many of you, because of a trial, have been able to help another better because of that trial?
You see, God does not comfort you to make you comfortable, but to make you comforters. Where nobody suffers, nobody cares. When you suffer you learn to care. That is why God does not comfort us to make us comfortable, but to make us comforters.
But don’t forget, He suffered first…..
You should be encouraged because the comfort you receive from God comes through Jesus. Verse 5. “For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.”
This means that all comfort, encouragement, and hope that you receive through people, through the Word, or through circumstances are filtered through Jesus.
Therefore, the comfort is pure, good, and right. It is received by faith. Where our sufferings are abundant, so is our comfort. This comfort is a spiritual comfort received by faith, by active choice.
Conclusion Encouragement is something that belongs to you as a Christian. You do not have to live in a world of hurt and doubt. You don’t have to live alone. You don’t have to weep in solitude. You have the body of Christ to lift you up. You have the Word of God to teach you. You have the Holy Spirit indwelling in you who warms your soul.
You have the God of encouragement waiting to show you His mercy and love.
But you need to trust. You need to remember the Lord’s blessing. You need to depend on Him. You need to keep your eyes on Jesus and Him alone.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,” (Matthew 11:28).