God brings adversity into our lives to equip us for more effective service. We have considered holiness, dependence, and perseverance all these contribute to making us more useful instruments in God’s service.
Joseph was rejected by his brothers when they sold him as a slave. He was then falsely accused while in Potiphar’s house and placed in prison. God could have placed Joseph directly in Pharaoh’s house. God placed Joseph into Pharaoh’s house through a series of adversities. He could have placed him directly in Pharaoh’s house without placing him in prison. God certainly did not need to leave Joseph in prison for two years after he had interpreted the cupbearer’s dream. Joseph’s difficulties were not necessary just for him to be in the right place at the right time. They were necessary to make Joseph into the right kind of person for the responsibilities God would place upon him.
Paul tells us in Corinthians that we are to comfort others as God has comforted us. 2 Corinthians 1:4 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. Everyone faces adversity and everyone needs to be compassionate and caring towards others to comfort and encourage them during their times of adversity. As we experience God’s comfort and encouragement in our adversities we are better equipped to be His instrument of comfort and encouragement to others that we come in contact with. We should pass on to others what we have received from God. First we must be able to understand the great truths of His sovereignty, wisdom, mercy, grace, and love. And when we find comfort and encouragement from our adversities we will be able to minister to others in their adversities. You are God’s instrument He wants you to provide comfort to others during their suffering.
Paul reminds us in Corinthians that our God is a God of comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. God the Father is called here “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort”. If we are to minister to others in their times of adversity we must first of all show compassion to those that we come in contact with. Encourage them with the spiritual and emotional strength to persevere in times of difficulty. We do that by pointing that person to the trustworthiness of God as it is revealed to us in Scripture. Only to the extent that we ourselves have been comforted and encouraged by the Holy Spirit through His word will we are able to comfort and encourage others. We can only comfort others if we find comfort in our own adversities. Adversity in our own lives will enable us to be instruments of comfort and encouragement to others.
A quote from Watchman Nee helps us to understand a little better. “To have God do His own work through us, even once, is better than a lifetime of human striving.”
Paul tells us in Ephesians that we need to know what is pleasing to God. Ephesians 5:10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. After all that is what we were placed on this earth for is to glorify Him. 1 Corinthians 6:20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. When we provide comfort in God’s name to those that are experiencing difficulty we are glorifying Him.
We should make the best use of the time that we have here on earth. Paul tells us this in: Ephesians 5:16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
What service to others have you performed in the last month?