2Co 1:3-7 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, (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. (5) For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. (6) If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. (7) Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.
The primary purpose of this blog is to expose evil and to encourage Christ’s true people in the midst of their sufferings. We focus primarily upon the evil of domestic abuse (particularly as it hides in the church), but there is always application for us in regard to suffering at the hands of other kinds of evildoers.
Why does the Lord, who is our Good Shepherd, permit suffering to come upon us? Why does He allow a wicked, conscienceless sociopath of a spouse to persecute his target with economic, social, psychological, physical, alienating and isolating tactics of abuse? There are no doubt more than one reason, and some of those reasons are given to us in the Bible.
You have this, for example:
2Th 1:5-8 This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— (6) since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, (7) and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels (8) in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
See it? The Lord permits us to be in the fires to refine us, to purify and sanctify us, weeding out the chaff. He also allows this persecution from those who do not obey Him in order to, as we might say, fill up the cup of wrath which will be poured out upon them when Christ comes to judge the world. For the glory of His glorious justice.
In our current study of Revelation, we are at chapter 11 where the church is pictured as a temple, and as two witnesses. The church proclaims the gospel to the world and is persecuted and hated for it. The fundamental reason believers experience the suffering of persecution is because we are in a fallen, wicked world that hates Christ and all who follow Him. We have a mission, and that mission is warfare. We exist in this life in a battle zone where the enemy’s missiles are incoming.
But in the first Scripture quoted above, from 2 Corinthians, we see still another reason that the righteous are permitted to suffer. In our sufferings, we experience the comfort of Christ. (Remember, you must be born again. Just because you are or have been married to an abuser does not mean necessarily that you know Christ. We must examine ourselves to see if we really are in the faith). But Christ’s true people, in suffering, experience as Paul says, the comfort of the Lord. It is mystical and connected with the presence of the Holy Spirit in us who often takes the Word of God and opens our eyes to its truth, bringing inner comfort and peace to us as we rest in the certainty of His promises.
And there is more. As WE are comforted by the Lord, so then we are able to take that same comfort and share it with others who are suffering. You know this to be true. You know that it is primarily those who have experienced the same sufferings you are experiencing who can really understand and help. Others may aid us to a degree, but not to the extent that a fellow suffering brother or sister in Christ can.
And that is still another reason for this blog. To connect Christ’s people with one another so that we can share the comfort the Lord comforts us with, with others. The suffering is training in the school of comforting.
2Th 1:3-4 We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. (4) Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring.