Extending Grace: God Comforting Through Us

God comforts His people, by the power of His Spirit, through His people.

2 Corinthians 1:3-11

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. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 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. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.

 

God’s Preparation of Hudson Taylor

“Years afterwards, when responsible himself for the guidance of many missionaries, it was easy to see that the trials of those early days were all needed. He was pioneering a way in China, little as he or anyone else could imagine it, for hundreds who were to follow. Every burden must be his, every testing real as only experience can make it. As iron is tempered to steel, his heart must be stronger and more patient than others, through having loved and suffered more. He who was to encourage thousands in a life of childlike trust, must himself learn yet deeper lessons of a Father’s loving care. So difficulties were permitted to gather about him, especially at the first when impressions are deep and lasting, difficulties attended by many a deliverance which made them a lifelong blessing.”[1]

 Adolphe Monod:

“It is through the anguish of temptation that you will learn, like your Savior, to some day sympathize with the weaknesses of others and to help those who are tempted [Hebrews 4:14-5:3].”[1]

May the Spirit of Christ, the Great Comforter, fulfill His ministry to others through us as willing channels of His healing, comforting, and edifying grace. May He strengthen their hearts and sustain their faith through our example and loving presence. And, may He continue giving us grace so that we might perpetually extend His grace to others and be a source of comfort to them.

________

[1] Howard Taylor, Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2009), 50.

[2] Adolphe Monod, Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness: Sharing Christ’s Victory, trans. Canstance Walker (Vestavia Hills: Solid Ground Christian Books, 2010), 38.

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Filed under Biblical Counseling, Holy Spirit, Pastoral Ministry, Suffering

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