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. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. – 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Oh, how my heart aches and my soul mourns with the believing Christians at Colonial Hills Baptist Church. And oh, how my spirit rejoices in their faith.
This scripture passage above titled “Praise to the God of All Comfort” is the apostle Paul encouraging the early church at Corinth from the standpoint of someone – himself – who constantly suffers yet steadfastly preaches the comfort and peace of Jesus Christ.
Paul knows belief in Christ isn’t about pain avoidance; it is about pain endurance. In so many words Paul is saying the righteous will cling closely to God, praise Christ for salvation, rely on the truth of the Holy Spirit, share with each other in both suffering and joy, and especially within the Body of Christ – the church – love their believing brethren.
And they will pray, realizing that prayer doesn’t fix a fallen world; prayer fixes a believer’s eyes on Christ. The main miracle of Christianity is the eternal, loving, glorifying relationship with God we can have through Christ. Whatever else happens on this earth – good or bad or horrific – it is less important than our trust in God’s promise.
The commandments of Jesus are to love God and love others, and part of loving others is in sharing the love of God through witnessing – telling and showing others about Jesus Christ. Even those who live entirely apart from God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, church and the Bible, are often nonetheless quick to thank God for a comfort or condemn God for hardship. Those near a tragic situation but far from God watch closely the reaction of believers.
The telling and teachable points of life’s trials, be they trivial, troublesome or tragic, is in whether – and how – we blame, claim, or explain God’s presence amid the fallen world’s unavoidable turmoil. An aching heart that is full of Christ will survive.
We see in our world an incredible array of God’s saving, divine beauty and
Satan’s destructive, soul-killing wickedness. For the Colonial Hills believers the trials of their suffering will be constant for a season, but their comfort and peace in Christ will last an eternity.
May our prayers strengthen them as their witness strengthens us.
Walters (firstname.lastname@example.org) appreciates the media accurately quoting the bus accident victims, relatives and friends. Christians actually talk that way.