When under pressure
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us. 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
There are circumstances that can emotionally cripple one person but strengthen the determination of another. We all face obstacles that God will use to develop a deeper spiritual life. God desires for us to attain spiritual intimacy with Him that will lead us to grow into godliness. He wants us to grow and experience becoming completely dependent upon Him. This is what Paul argues from the text. In times of distressing circumstances, he experiences God’s faithfulness. He recognizes that trials in life are part of God’s plan to equip him so he could be a source of encouragement to others who are dealing with any kind of circumstances. As we face trails in life, we can endure because of our saving relationship with God. As Paul continues to discover in his life, God’s comforting presence is always with those whose faith is focused on God. Once we grow relying on God’s faithfulness, we will discover looking back over time that we have changed. The disciplines we learned facing trials have given us the ability to choose our destination: intimacy with God that results to godliness. Godliness is a journey, not a destination that will culminate in the time that Christ will come. From the text, Paul expressed the reality of going through under great pressure yet he finds encouragement to know that the God of comfort is always with him. To realize the same truth that Paul had come to embrace is to realize that joy is part of the journey because Christ is living in us and walking with us. “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). Plan on a lifetime of travel with God and while at it, learn to trust Him even if at times there are inevitable wrong turns and sometimes slow but careful progress. The satisfaction and peace you gain will far outweigh any inconvenience. All He wants from us is to overcome the temptation of relying solely on our own abilities but instead grow in our dependence upon Him.
Noel De Guzman