2 Corinthians 1 - Afflictions and Comfort

2 Corinthians 1:4 - Why does God comfort us when afflicted? Well, the obvious (and true!) answer is that he loves us. I'd say that's the primary reason, however, Paul here says he does so that we would be enabled to comfort others who are in any affliction. God's comfort is to extend beyond us to others who may not yet know the comfort of God.

2 Corinthians 1:8-10 - One way that we comfort others in affliction is by demonstrating our faith and endurance during our own afflictions. Paul says he did not want them to be ignorant of his afflictions, so that they might see his faith, and through it, God's faithfulness.

It's tempting to assume from this that God gives us afflictions that he could give us comfort and that we in turn might be prepared to comfort others. I'm not prepared to make that leap, although I do believe that as we mature, God will allow us more and greater afflictions to refine and strengthen our faith. Then, being strengthened, we can help others through that same journey. Where is the line between God's direct causation and things that are just a function of the world he created? I don't know, and I refuse to speculate.

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