Read: 2 Corinthians 1:1-11

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. 2 Cor 1:3-4

It’s easy to think life should be all lollipops and sunshine. But it’s not, is it. Jobs are lost, people get sick, hurtful words are said, doors are slammed, basements get flooded, blight visits our garden, carpets are thrown-up on, the lawnmower breaks. Again.

And that’s just life. The Bible tells us that the rain falls on the good and the bad alike. Tough stuff is going to come our way, sometimes more frequently than we think is fair. Paul had his share of tough stuff, but instead of focusing on the situation he was in, he focused on the God of all comfort who got him through. He encouraged the Corinthian Church to do the same.

And he recognized that the comfort wasn’t for him alone – he was comforted so he could be a comfort to someone else. It’s a “pass it on” kind of thing. It’s meant to be shared.

It’s important to note that in these verses, “comfort” does not mean consolation. It means “encouragement.” Here’s how that might play out: my friend’s car won’t start – this has happened to me and I’ve experienced God’s comfort and peace in the midst of that particular situation. So instead of saying to my friend, “Dude, that sucks. I know how you feel,” I might say, “That happened to me too – I prayed about it and God really showed up – let’s pray and see what happens.”

Instead of focusing on the hardship, we focus on the Comforter. It makes a huge difference – not only when we ourselves are experiencing hardship, but also when a friend is going through a difficult circumstance and we’re able to not just be with them in their suffering, but to encourage them. To help them set their eyes on the Comforter.

Think about the many moments in your life that you have been visited by the Great Comforter. Then take a moment to think about someone in your life that might need some comfort (encouragement) today and go ahead and share the comfort that you yourself have received from God!

Heavenly Father – thank you for your amazing comfort. Please bring me an opportunity today to share that comfort with someone who needs to be encouraged. In Jesus name, amen.

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