Comfort and Joy

Scripture is full of things we can count on. Some are pleasant – some not. And they seem to come in pairs. The following is a classic example:

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 ESV

You will have tribulation (bad news) but take heart; I have overcome the world (great news). I think some folks want to frame a theology for one reason or another where any sign of trouble in our own life must be caused by our failure in some area.

The truth is uncapitalized sin (our own person rebellion) certainly has consequences. But capital “S” Sin (because of what happened in the garden) is often the cause that gets looked past and the affliction is misdiagnosed as a result. Bad things happen and our flesh just longs to assign blame. Instead of assigning blame, these verses in 2 Corinthians offer a better response:

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 ESV

Again, God doesn’t promise freedom from affliction but comfort in affliction. And in return, He asks that we return the favor when we see others experiencing the same. I love the consistency in scripture. God helps us and then asks that we help others. In a holiday season full of heartache and affliction, it’s a great reminder to provide “comfort and joy” to those who need it most.

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