Paul told the Christians at Corinth: “Just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so through Christ our comfort also overflows…We were burdened so greatly, so far beyond our ability to bear it, that we even gave up hope of living,” said Paul (2 Cor. 1:5 & 8 EHV).
Why did God let things get so bad? “So that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God, who raises the dead. He rescued us from such a terrible death, and He will continue to rescue us,” said the apostle (2 Cor. 1:9-10 EHV). The more severe the affliction, the more we appreciate God’s comfort.
In his famous essay on Self Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.” That sounds so noble, so courageous, until the ground gives way beneath your feet.
The people of Israel could not trust themselves when they had their backs to the Red Sea. They needed to see the salvation of the Lord.
Hezekiah and his people, caged in the city of Jerusalem by 185,000 Assyrians, could not trust themselves. They needed the deliverance of God.
The widow of Nain, following the lifeless body of her son out of the village gates and down to the cemetery, could not lean on herself. But how great was the deliverance of Him who stopped the procession and raised her son!
Troubles and persecutions happened to Paul, and such adversities happen to us, that we should stop trusting in ourselves, in our own power and plans, and cast ourselves into the arms of the God who raises the dead, who raised His Son, who shall raise us. He who delivered us on Good Friday and Easter, He who delivers us each day from things we cannot see and who turns evil to our good, He who promises to hold us tomorrow and save us eternally, shall not go back on His word. Nor shall the praise and thanks for His deliverances ever die on our lips.
The shadows over church and world are lengthening. A gathering storm is rolling in over the heads of Christ’s little flock. Let us gather up this comfort from Christ in our Sunday services and Bible studies, in our Christian classrooms and Sunday School, in our private devotions. Let us pack this comfort for the journey – like water for the desert, like bread for the wilderness. We’re going to need it. Christ is more than pleased to provide it.