The Louder Song: Listening for Hope in the Midst of Pain, Anxiety, Grief, Doubt, and Lament

Day 1 of 7 • This day’s reading

Devotional

In 2015, my husband Kevin and I entered one of the most difficult seasons we’ve ever been through. I was diagnosed with a chronic autoimmune disease. We lost a beloved family member, and our youngest son was suffering through some developmental issues. 

I’d like to tell you that I rose above, overcame, more-than-conquered. But truthfully, my faith in God wavered. My go-to spiritual disciplines no longer helped me feel connected to Jesus. My gnawing questions about suffering and God’s goodness became too much to handle. 

Although I’ve been a Christian for thirty years, for the first time in my walk with God, I began to wonder if I was praying to the ceiling fan. Ultimately, God no longer fit into the box I had designated for Him, and I had no idea what to do about it. What I didn’t realize is that God was about to blow the box wide open and reveal more of Himself to me. 

And in the middle of this very difficult season, God gently led me back to Himself and to His supernatural comfort.

In today’s reading, the apostle Paul writes about a time he faced overwhelming trouble. Paul was crushed to the point of thinking he’d actually die. In his pain, he reminds us that we have a great Comforter—who comforts us at the very moment we need Him most. 

Paul makes three significant points: 

1) God is the source of all comfort. This may seem obvious, but we don’t always live like it is. We run to so many other things or other people for comfort. What would it look like to stop running to all of those things, and instead, cry out to God for His comfort? 

2) We don’t have live in fear of seasons of anguish. 

Difficult seasons are actually beautiful invitations into deeper intimacy with God. In fact, Paul proclaims that the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with His comfort through Christ. What an incredible thought!

3) We are called to comfort others with the comfort we’ve received.  

God comforts us with purpose--- He actually comforts us, so that we will comfort others—for the sake of their salvation (verse 6). Who might God wants you to comfort today?

For more resources, videos, and devotions on this, feel free to go to my website, www.aubreysampson.com.