Psalm 30:1 (NIV)
I will exalt you, Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths.
2 Corinthians 1:5
For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ.
Many years ago my younger sister died in an accident in our home. I recall many things about that event and time, but even more I remember how so many people came to our home and virtually lifted our up our family and carried us through those days of sorrow and grief. We were surrounded by friends and family who bore our burdens and carried our griefs – little Christs (Christians) in the best sense of the word. It was so encouraging to know that there were people who loved us and were willing to be with us in those times of sadness.
God so often delivers us through other people. A new boss comes on the scene and rearranges the staffing structure and we are suddenly no longer thwarted in our efforts to push forward in our job. The chemo works and we are restored to health. Friends stand with us in times of grief and we are comforted by the hope of the resurrection and the promise of eternal life.
It may not always be obvious, but these are at the very least echos of the Great Deliverance of Jesus Christ – his death on the cross for our sins, his resurrection from the grave for our justification, and his Second Coming on the Great Last Day for our glorification. We are consoled by others in the face of death because of the ultimate victory of faith that centers in Jesus. You see new hope in your job because someone does right and opens up opportunities to succeed: an example of loving your neighbor, and in this case you’re the neighbor being loved.
Sometimes the impact of Jesus Christ in a situation is so obviously good: hope, relief, redemption, forgiveness, life all come from him. But whenever good comes to us, it comes from God, and Jesus is the One who points us to the Father and sends the Holy Spirit so that we recognize God’s goodness, believe in his redemption, and be comforted in our sorrows.