A Meaning to Our Struggles

Someone very close to me (I’ll call him Benjamin) has struggled continually with fear, anxiety, and depression. I’ve tried desperately to shine some light and help alleviate the darkness that settles in, day after day after day. I feel unsuccessful in my efforts, but I was reminded of what the Bible tells us about those times when we need comfort. I told Benjamin I know how he will get through his challenges. Here are the verses I shared with him:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
The words, “all comfort” come from the ancient Greek word paraklesis. This word means more than soothing sympathy; it carries the idea of strengthening, and the real idea is communicated by the Latin word for comfort (fortis), which also means brave.
God Himself, and the people He works through (such as our close friends and family members) provide us with the comfort and strength we need to endure and overcome the difficulties of life. God does this not only for our good, but also to equip us to then offer the same comfort we have received. Spiritual comforts are not given for our use alone; they are gifts from God to shape us into instruments of service to others.
Benjamin is still a young teenager, but he wants to be a counselor someday. He also wants to be strong and brave as he grows through the almost overwhelming challenges he faces. I told him he will be a counselor and that his successful journey to overcome fear, anxiety, and depression will translate into the tools he needs to guide others through the very same problems and issues. In other words, in the specific way he was comforted by God and others, he will also comfort people who need the same help. I told Benjamin that’s why he was born and that’s what God’s purpose is for him. His struggles are by design; he will grow closer to His Savior and he will help others do the same.
Troy Burns