“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.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Life is tough. I’ve watched my father get deployed for war on three different occasions, lost my grandparents who were crucial in starting my relationship with Jesus, had a two-and-a-half-year relationship end after buying an engagement ring, moved for a job and lost it within 6 months, and then spent more time being jobless. But, the beautiful reality of our trails is God uses them for a greater purpose. The troubles you and I face can show others there is hope, and His name is Jesus.
I have been able to walk with people through their afflictions because I have faced ones I was able to encourage a friend as their loved one was deployed, and they felt lonely and worried. I have been able to comfort others as they lost the people in their lives. I have had the pleasure of helping people take their next steps after having a relationship they thought was “the one” end all of sudden. I have cried with people who have experienced uprooting their lives for a job, only for it not to work out. And I have been able to listen and hear the brokenness from someone who cannot find a job, and respond with, “Me too.”
It is because of Jesus alone I was able to bounce back from my troubles. They had the potential to knock me down, and keep me down. Those afflictions certainly would have won, if there was nothing else to hope in. But when we come to know God, we see He truly is a Father of mercies and a God of comfort. When my afflictions try to tell me I am not strong enough to handle them, I do not fight it because it is true. I cannot handle my afflictions alone; I need to let God handle them. I have learned to trust and believe God does not allow affliction to be the end of the story.
One of my go-to verses for life comes in one of the greatest chapters of the Bible: Romans 8. Paul writes an incredible statement that goes like this: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). This verse carries a greater hope for our affliction than we realize.
This verse does not tell us our afflictions go away, but rather God works a greater purpose for them. God’s greater purpose may not be revealed for a while, and that is where our trust in God is built. We will never know who we can encourage and help with the afflictions we face. God writes an incredible story so that we can show others how faithful and trustworthy He is. Even in the darkest times we face, God is able to shine His light through us. We have God on our side at all times, and God uses every bit of our lives to reveal Himself. May we find Him as our hope and our storyteller in the midst of affliction.
Spend time memorizing Romans 8:28, as a reminder during times of affliction. Cling to the hope that God will not let it go to waste!
Father, thank you for being such a good and merciful Father. Surely, You can use even my toughest seasons as a chance to show Your power and authority over all things. Teach my heart to trust You in every season so that others can see Your glory on display. I love You Father, and pray all of this in Your holy name, amen.
PC3 writer Davy Nance wrote today’s devotional.