Friday, February 6, 2015

God Comforts us in Tribulation

Why were Paul and Timothy able to avoid despair despite being troubled, perplexed, persecuted, and cast down?
The Lord comforts us in our tribulations. We are never alone, there is always at least one (Jesus Christ) who has felt our pains and knows how we are feeling. Knowing what they knew about Jesus helped them to keep a positive perspective as well. They were representatives of Christ and so he kept them buoyed up despite their persecutions. These men were willing to die for Jesus, so it seemed like all these hard trials were not as bad. They understood that our trials in this life are nothing compared to the wonderful eternities of what lies beyond this life.

2 Corinithians 4:17-18 can help during our own tribulations. It tells us what Paul and Timothy knew, that our afflictions are for but a moment when compared to the eternities. Having an eternal perspective and knowing that this life is for trials and tests can help us keep our wits about us, fight through pain, and be ready and willing to keep serving the Lord.

Paul and Joseph Smith went through very similar things in their lives. Both were persecuted by the people around them. They both suffered through physical ailments at the hands of others. Both knew though, that they were called of God to profess the gospel to the world and worked hard despite their challenges. Both men learned to “glory in tribulation” because they knew that the Lord would have a special place for them in the next life.

How does grace play a role in overcoming our tribulations?
Paul said that when we are weak we become strong. Jacob in Jacob 4:7 points out that the Lord shows us our weaknesses so that we know that it is by His grace that we are able to accomplish hard things. In Ether 12:27 it goes on to point out that through the grace of God, if we are humble, our weaknesses will become strong. Grace is the help or strength from the Lord. Without the grace of God we could get through nothing, we would not be resurrected, we would have reason to despair because there would be no hope.

In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 the Lord answers Paul’s prayer by telling him that His grace is sufficient enough. His strength can get Paul through his weakness.
In Mosiah 24:13-15 God helps the people through their afflictions. He says that He will deliver them from bondage, and while they are in bondage their burdens will feel light. Literally, the loads they carry on their back will feel light. He made them stronger so that they could bear their burdens with ease.
  I chose this assignment this week because I desperately needed these words. I have been struggling with something for a while and this assignment has helped me to realize, even more, that I just need to ask the Lord for help, submit myself to his will, and carry on. He will help me. He will even carry me when I need to be carried. If Paul, Joseph Smith, Alma and his brothers can work through incredible pain, I can be carried through my discomforts as well.

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