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Comfort and Suffering

“Our God is “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort” according to St Paul – a wonderful image of our Creator. The God of comforts and mercies “comforts us in all our tribulation.” This is the God who is love being Himself. The Lord doesn’t prevent us from experiencing distress, discomfort, disease, rather God uses these sorrowful events to share His love, mercies and comforts with us. We might, at times prefer not to have to experience trouble or tribulation, but St Paul reminds us that it is through these sufferings that we also experience mercy and comfort, in essence we can experience the divine. God comforts us because God is love. God comforts us in order that we might know what comfort and mercy are so that ‘we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble.’ We are to be godlike in our treatment of others, especially those suffering and in need of mercy (like the assaulted man that the Good Samaritan treated as his neighbor). God gives us divine comfort so that we can in turn be merciful and comfort others who are in need ‘with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.’” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“Who does not need comfort amid grief and hardships? But where do we find it?...The term “comfort” in English is a good translation of this easing of grief, soothing of sorrow, and solace of sharing…Solace from God the Father and affliction go hand in hand. In the proportion that the Heavenly Father permits the sorrow, He also bestows comfort in equal measure. And both are for the encouragement, endurance, and salvation of others in the household of faith (1 Corinthians 1:6)…Whatever sorrow we have, the Lord is with us to offer us an equal measure of comfort. Of this balance of grief and consolation,…“The darker the night, the brighter the stars, the deeper the grief, the closer to God.” (Fr. Basil, Fyodor Dostoevsky)

“Even in our sufferings and tribulations, God is present with us and for us…our God does not try to prevent us from “coming into affliction;” rather, He “comforteth in affliction”.. God accompanies us through the many little “deaths” that befall us in the world. Having overcome death, He promises us that “you will live also” (Jn 14:19).” (St. John Chrysostom, Dynamis 8/26/2021)

“We know that Christ did not abandon the disciples after He ascended. He would send the Holy Spirit who would be there for them the remainder of their days. However, despite that help and comfort, the disciples were to continue on in a world that is largely governed by the free-will of others. The disciples would be subjected to turbulent forces, much like we are today. God has chosen to not over-ride the free will of others. He treats us as adults. In the gospel reading last Sunday, Jesus makes reference to the fact that none of them were lost except the son of Perdition- Judas. Christ can do all things, yet still Judas did what He did. Indeed, like the disciples, we are affected by and suffer due to the free will of others. These truths of free-will are often difficult for us to accept. It is often much easier for us to blame God for letting certain painful events happen.” (Fr. Joshua Makoul)

“Sometimes we need assurance, to see, to hear, to be comforted, and God finds a way to let us know.” (Fr. John Zeyack)

“It is impossible to accept Christianity for the sake of finding comfort: but the Christian tries to lay himself open to the will of God, to do what God wants him to do. You don’t know in advance whether God is going to set you to do something difficult or painful.” (C.S. Lewis)

“Christ calls us to a higher mission than to find comfort and tranquility in this life. Love of family is a law of God, but even this love can be self-serving and used as an excuse not to serve God or do His work.” (Life Application Study, Matthew 10:34-39)

“It’s so easy to become self-deceived and comfortable. That’s what sin is all about.” (Father John Zeyack)

“You’ll live much more peacefully and comfortably if you live transparently, not doing anything you wouldn’t want God to see." (Bob Barnes)

“Nothing can be hidden from God. He knows about everyone everywhere, and everything about us is wide open to His all-seeing eyes. God sees all we do and knows all we think. Even when we are unaware of His presence, He is there. When we try to hide from Him, He sees us. We can have no secrets from God. It is comforting to realize that although God knows us intimately, He still loves us.” (Life Application Study Bible, Hebrews 4:13)

“… Apostle Paul constantly emphasizes the connection between comfort and sufferings…Saint Paul asserts that our comfort comes from God especially in tribulation (2 Cor 1:4). Christ suffered as we humans suffer; He understands our sufferings because He fully endured human pain. Hence our afflictions become co-sufferings, assuring us that even pain has meaning and holy purpose.” (Dynamis 8/6/2015)

“We may not like it, we may want a God who is more like a Grandfather than a father ,who will gather us together at the end of time and say "and a good time was had by all.” (C.S. Lewis)

But it doesn't work that way. Christianity never, ever promises otherwise. It does promise growth and comfort during struggle and suffering because Christ transformed suffering on the cross and made it a means for our personal growth…. Every challenge we face, sickness in ourselves or loved ones included, is an opportunity for our growth.” (Sacramental Living)

“God calls us to commitment, not to comfort. He promises to be with us through suffering and hardship, not to spare us from them.” (Life Application Study Bible, Acts 9:15, 16)

“Saint Paul uses the words “comfort” and “consolation”… no less than six times in this epistle[2 Corinthians 1:1-7]….The apostle uses “comfort” to describe God, the “Father of mercies,” calling Him “God of all comfort” who “comforts us in all our tribulation” (vss. 3-4). The very nature of God the Father is to console and comfort. Comfort likewise characterizes the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.” (Dynamis 8/6/2015)

“St Paul…"God comforts us in our sorrow so that we might comfort others . . . . in their time of tribulation." (2 Cor. 1:4). In my own personal experience, I have discovered the truth in these majestic words. I have learned that out of the painful crucible of my own suffering, I was able to find within me a well-spring of strength that I never knew I possessed. I acquired a deepened understanding of the human condition, a greater sensitivity and compassion for the sufferings of others, and a heightened ability to share with others my conviction in the sureness of ultimate victory.” (Rev Andrew J Demotses)

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