2 Corinthians 1:3-6(NLT)
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 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. 5 For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. 6 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.
After the preface the apostle writes about the comfort God provides even in the midst of trials and tribulations. All comfort originates with God and is passed to us so that we can share that comfort with others. For in our trials and tribulations we learn that we can endure and that God is with us. We can share that with others so they can patiently endure the same type of suffering and know God will be with them too.
In The Story before the Story, preached at Lincoln Christian College by Damien Spikereit speaks about a portion of his life: When I was in high school my father passed away rather suddenly. It was just two days before my high school graduation. At that time in my life I was a baby Christian; immature and shallow. I was still drying off the baptistery waters. All I cared about was not going to hell.
But then my dad died. I found myself in a place I'd never been before. I wanted to hear God speak. I wanted to know what he had to say about this situation; how he was going to get me and my family through this difficult time. So I prayed. And I waited for God to speak.
Then came the day of the funeral. The church was packed. I sat on the front pew with my mother and two younger sisters. The Lutheran priest spoke, but I don't remember what he said. I continued to wait for God to say something. Then the service was over. It was the tradition of this church to have the family line up in the foyer. Everyone would file past us and offer words of condolence and encouragement. Tears were shed, hugs offered, and words were given. I don't remember what anybody said to me in that time. But I continued to wait for God to speak.
Then I saw Kim O'Quinn. She was my age. We were in the youth group together. When she got to me, she didn't say a word. She had tears in her eyes. And she simply hugged me and walked off. But I heard God speak. It dawned on me. Just months before, I had attended another funeral; the funeral for Kim O'Quinn's father. In that moment she knew exactly what it meant to be me.
If you want to hear God's voice in your life look no further than the one who knows exactly what it's like to be you. He knows what it is to be human, he knows what it is to suffer, he knows what it is to be rejected, he knows what it is to be human. If you want to hear God's voice speak, allow your soul to be quieted long enough so that you can hear the one who was in the beginning say to you, "draw near to me and I'll draw near to you."
Psalm 23:4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.