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Tidings of Comfort and Hope

My sweet Samantha woke from her tonsillectomy in fear and pain, asking for Mommy. As soon as I saw her, I scooped her up in my arms, promising the pain would get better. Her tearful eyes looked so confused, conveying, "Mommy, why are you letting me hurt? You're supposed to make it better!" Her 3-year-old mind could not process why I would allow so much pain, but I knew the pain was a necessary part of the process to rid her body of recurring sickness.

In 2 Corinthians 1:1-11, Paul explains that Christ knows when we suffer, and He holds us and comforts us while we heal, just as I comforted my confused child after her surgery. Samantha trusted me even though she did not understand the pain; she trusted me to hold and comfort her. In the same way, we must trust Christ and allow Him to comfort us even when we don't understand the life pain we are enduring.  

Paul tells the Corinthians that he, too, has been and is suffering, coming close to death regularly. He reminds the Corinthians — and us — how faithful Christ has been to him: "... that we might not rely on ourselves but on God ... on Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us" (2 Corinthians 1:9-10).

Even when suffering, we may rejoice in knowing that Christ is helping us grow, and He will be our unfailing comfort and hope!

Reflect:

What is causing you pain? How can these verses help you embrace the comfort and hope Christ provides for you in your suffering?
How can you use these verses to encourage a fellow Christ follower who is suffering?

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