“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 tribulation that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation.” 2 Corinthians 1:3—7
The above verses of Holy Scripture have been powerfully meaningful to me from the very beginning of my ministry here at America’s Keswick. In fact, it is my own personal suffering which opened the window and then the door to my being here to serve for almost 14 years. It had never occurred to me that any of the trials and tribulations of my life could or would be used by God to help so many hurting women.
Who but God could know how new depths of meaning would, over and over again, reveal new measures of meaning to a heart that often forgets and wanders, a heart that needs yet another reminder to partake of the suffering of Christ and to hope in the consolation therein.
Dear sisters, it is truly grace, grace upon grace upon grace that we’re even permitted to experience comfort in the midst of affliction and adversity.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…who comforts us in all our tribulation…”
Since that very first day I’ve learned over and over again that our Father doesn’t waste a single drop of our suffering. Nope! Not one little bit. Fact is, in His infinite wisdom and power—we are mysteriously enabled to rejoice in it. Though our eyes and hearts weep from the sorrows and tribulations and pains of our suffering, there comes to us a deep knowing that there is much consolation through Christ. It’s very difficult to explain and yet, there it is—tangible comfort, peace, and consolation in the midst of our suffering.
How is your heart today beloved? Do you know above and beyond all doubt that your God — the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God who came from heaven, was crucified, dead and buried, who rose on the third day and is now seated in heavenly places forever interceding on your behalf, the One whose name is Jesus — do you know that He is with you? Do you know and believe He is for you?
Choose today to look up, to lift your hands toward heaven and cry out, “Abba Father! I need you! Help me!”
Then rest in His care and comfort, knowing that the One who loves you with an everlasting love never slumbers nor sleeps and He will be with you, even now. Selah…
Stephanie D. Paul serves as part of the Addiction Recovery Team at America’s Keswick as Director of Women of Character. She has been married for over 30 years to Sesky Paul who is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy.
Her single focus in ministry at Keswick is to image Christ in grace and truth to wounded and hurting women, encouraging them to make Jesus the truest Lover of their soul and the One in whom all hope lies.