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
It is definitely a comfortable world we live in here in the west. Yet we also experience affliction daily. There is death and bereavement, crime and victimization, despair and destruction right outside our own front door. Nonetheless we are afforded a great deal more comfort than the rest of the world in the midst of our afflictions.
Afflictions in themselves are nothing compared to what is to come. Just listen to what Paul said:
For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison… 2 Corinthians 4:17
Some go through harder afflictions than others. For them they have much more to rejoice and be thankful about than others through the redemption of Christ.
One of the major hand-slappings to the Christian church is that because of all our comfort, we have become complacent, stagnant, dead. Amen. But what do you do? Become a hermit? Intentionally subject yourself to suffering? Asceticism? Nay. If we in the West have anything to be ashamed about, it is not our comfort. It is rather our deadness of not spreading that comfort to others.
We are to be vessels, instruments of God, channeling his mercy to those who could really use the comfort. As a corporate American body we ought to be putting all this mercy and comfort to WORK. But instead we sit on it, and become no better than the man who went and hid his talents in the ground. (Matthew 25:24-26) Something that angers God!
Let us be thankful, and merciful as we have received mercy and not be dead ends for God’s grace because the Holy Spirit is looking for vessels! It’s no wonder that so many today don’t experience the real Spirit of God–he doesn’t go down dead ends!