Why do bad things happen to good people? That’s a fundamentally flawed question, so let’s do an easier one. Why do bad things happen to anyone? Why does God allow suffering at all? Who hasn’t asked some form of that question in the midst of terrible news or pain?
One answer may be found in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7. The apostle Paul uses the word comfort ten times in just five verses. “God is a God of comfort” is the message, which begs another question. How can God comfort us if we never suffer? If life always goes our way, how will we experience the comfort brought by the Holy Spirit (who is also called by the name the Comforter)?
But there’s something else. Paul’s point is not simply that we are comforted by God in our suffering. In 2 Corinthians 1:4, Paul says that God “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.” So there’s another element to our own suffering that’s intended to make us eventually look to the people suffering around us. In other words, not only does God allow affliction in our lives so that He can comfort us, but so that we can eventually comfort those around us!
So what can you do to bring God’s comfort to other people in their own suffering? One of the best things to do is simply be there.
“I know what you’re going through.” “I’ve been there.” “I was in the same situation and God comforted me in this way….” Those are powerful words!
Sometimes the best comfort to people is knowing someone else has walked in their shoes, lived to tell about it, and now they’re stronger because of it. Real hope—real comfort—is often found in simply hearing from the person who’s been there, and still found God faithful to his promises. So don’t waste your suffering. One day someone else may need you.
Other Must-Read Stories