Constant Suffering and Confident Hope
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 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” (2 Cor. 1:3–4).
The apostle Paul says that in Christ we stand as one — through constant suffering and in confident hope. Jesus is our consolation. He is our comfort when we are distressed to the breaking point, as we are “utterly burdened beyond our strength” (2 Cor. 1:8). God is not only the Father who created all things. He also is the originator of all mercies, the God of all comfort in the Son whom He has sent. He is the fountain and source of every mercy and comfort. He has forever buried your sins. They shall accuse you no longer. In this you can rejoice.
There is no equal to Him and there is no substitute for the community that He creates, as we are bound together by Baptism into a proclaimed and lived confession of the faith. Members of His Body, ever contending to speak His truth with simplicity and sincerity, are called to pray for one another and the world, that in every trial and affliction we would be brought back only to Jesus.
The missionaries who have been called by The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod to serve in places near and far are no strangers to tribulations. We thank God for them, even as we are joined with them, St. Paul, the Corinthians and every saint who has gone before. If their suffering is ours, then Christ who is their comfort is also ours. If our suffering is theirs, then our hope and consolation in Christ is also theirs.
Thank you for reading this issue of Lutherans Engage the World. I hope you will be encouraged by the example of our brothers and sisters in Christ from around the world.
Rev. Kevin D. Robson
Chief Mission Officer, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod