The suffering of this present time cannot be compared to the glory that will be revealed in us. Many of us have read this scripture and gave a spiritual nod of agreement yet fail to apply its principle when faced with tribulation. The carnal or fleshly mind struggles to foresee the lessons in suffering that reward us when we persevere.
It is for this very reason the believer must walk by faith and not by sight. In 2 Corinthians 1:3 Paul calls the Lord “the God of all comfort”. The Greek transliteration for the word comfort is paraklesis which means consolation or exhortation. In tribulation, God is our comfort to keep pressing on.
“Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” 2 Corinthians 1:4
Paul gives us a different perspective on suffering. He highlights how our suffering as individuals isn’t all about us. When God comforts us in suffering we can now provide a similar consolation to others in tribulation. Romans 5:3-4 gives us a road map to hope. This hope is built through entering into tribulation and developing patience which leads us to gaining experience.
This experience gives us hope and enables us to share this same hope with others who are suffering. The believer who walks by faith and not by sight sees hope at the starting point of tribulation, enabling him to run the race of life with patience and take consolation in his experience in overcoming.
Through the comfort we receive from God, we are enabled to freely distribute this consolation to others in need. When we are afflicted, it’s not only about us. Through our enduring tribulation we can encourage others as they behold our steadfast faith. Imagine how the onlookers were affected as they witnessed God’s comforting and protection of the three Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace in Daniel.
That fire that was designed to destroy faith actually refined it. That experience was not only for the 3 young men, but to show forth God’s ability to preserve all of Israel and even King Nebuchadnezzar. Our position as joint heirs with Christ is predicated upon sharing in His sufferings that we may also be glorified with Him. We can be reassured & consoled by the truth that as we are partakers in suffering, so we also will be partakers in comfort. Be selfless in your suffering.