2 Corinthians 1: 3-11
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and
salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of
death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
First, Paul refers to Christ as the one who gives comfort in times of trouble for a reason: in order that we might comfort others in ANY
trouble. He notes that he has suffered greatly himself and recognizes that we do as well, but whether in distress or in comfort it is for the comfort and salvation of others and is intended to create patient endurance.
Paul and his companions were under severe hardship far beyond their ability to endure, but they relied on God for their strength. Yes, it is
easier said than done; but, anything is easier said than done! You don’t get the benefit if you do not “do”! So, this Christmas refuse to allow losses and other difficulties to rule your thoughts and emotions. Instead, cast all your cares on Him and allow the strength of God to
remind you of the beauty and wisdom in those who have been lost and on purpose offer comfort to those around you. There are others around you who need a word of encouragement.
Jesus is our joy and salvation. Spend some time looking with hope and anticipation of what God might do in you in 2013 remembering that He is more concerned with our spiritual well-being than our external circumstances. He truly is the answer to our troubles!