God Offers Comfort For All (Day 28)

Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-11
   Suffering for Christ refers to those afflictions we experience as we serve Christ. At the same time, Christ suffers with his people, since they are united with Him. In Acts 9, Christ asked Paul why he was persecuting Him. This implies that Christ suffered with the early Christians when they were persecuted. 
   Many think that when God comforts us, our troubles should go away. But if that were always so, people would only turn to God only out of a desire to be relieved of pain and not out of love for Him. We must understand that being comforted can also mean receiving strength, encouragement, and hope to deal with our troubles. The more we suffer, the more comfort God gives us. If you are feeling overwhelmed, allow God to comfort you. Remember that every trial you endure will help you comfort other people who are suffering similar troubles. 
   Paul explains that when he and his companions suffered, it resulted in the Corinthians’ benefit and salvation. But just as God comforted Paul, God would also comfort the Corinthian believers when they suffered for their faith. He would give them the strength to endure. 
   Paul does not give details about their hardships in Asia, although his accounts of all three missionary journeys record many difficult trials he faced (Acts 13-21). He does write that they felt that they were going to die and realized that they could do nothing to help themselves; they simply had to rely on God.
   We often depend on our own skills and abilities when life seems easy and only turn to God when we feel unable to help ourselves. But as we realize our own powerlessness without Him and our need for His constant help in our lives, we come to depend on Him more and more. God is our source of power, and we receive His help by keeping in touch with Him. With this attitude of dependence, problems will drive us to God rather than away from Him. Learn how to rely on God daily. 
   Paul requested prayer for himself and his companions as they traveled to spread God’s message. Pray for pastors, teachers, missionaries, and others who are spreading the Gospel. Satan will challenge anyone making a real difference for God.