Many men owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties.
Charles Spurgeon
I would ascribe this thought to Spurgeon alone had not the Apostle Paul said this in so many ways nearly two millennium ago. Paul attributed his hardships in life for the sake of the Gospel to be his greatest comfort and that which made him the man he was. Paul, especially in his writings to the Corinthians, wanted to attribute suffering with the Gospel. He told them time and time again that his greatest comfort came from his being counted worthy to share in Christ’s sufferings. He exhorted the Corinthians that they as well would find their greatest comfort when suffering for the Gospel.
These thoughts seem so antithetical to the way Christianity is presented here in America today. It is so often presented as an opportunity for success, wealth, happiness and material comfort in the here and now. This appears to be the exact type of preaching and “Gospel Presentation” Paul speaks against in 2 Corinthians when he tells of the super-apostles.
So we must ask ourselves… where do we find our comfort? Do we find it coming from motivational speakers that tickle our ears? Do we find it from surrounding ourselves with people who will never challenge us? Do we find it in material blessings and in loving the gift more than the giver? Hopefully none of these apply.
Our hope and comfort should alone be found in the fact that Jesus our Lord and Savior came and died for us, a loveless people, Sought us out though we did not seek Him and made us righteous like Him. When that is our comfort, there is nothing in this life that can compare or shake us because our comfort will not lie in possessions or in our control of things. It will instead lie solely upon the God who gave us all through the death, burial and resurrection of His Son… and that is a comforting Gospel.