Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A comforted life is NOT an easy life.

If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer.
2 Corinthians 1:6

I think that the biblical definition of comfort described by Paul in this context is radically different from American cultural expectations of comfort today. Paul saw comfort coming only through difficulty in the process of gospel growth. In fact, he expected God to use Paul's own afflictions to bring comfort to others by using Paul's pains to advance the gospel.

Paul endured tremendous persecutions and suffering, but out of it was birthed true gospel growth, numerous new churches, and the salvation of souls. That tremendous affliction brought the comfort of the gospel to thousands of new believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. And Paul expected those who came to Christ through his ministry to also know the same of experience of comfort in suffering and persecution.

Paul told the Corinthians that they would know comfort by enduring suffering for the gospel. This is not the way my culture sees comfort. We confuse comfort with luxury and ease. This isn't comfort as we know it, sitting back in a lazy boy recliner watching Netflix with snacks in hand. This biblical comfort is only known by suffering for the gospel. And it is real and thoroughly God-centered. This truth opens my eyes. God help me never to confuse ease with comfort.

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