“For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn—fighting without and fear within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more.” 2 Corinthians 7:5-7
To my heart, these glimpses of the humanity of Paul are little nuggets of treasure. They are an encouragement, a reminder that this great man of God who wrote such powerful statements about the love and power and greatness of God was simply a man acting in the enabling power of the Spirit of God working within him.
Paul experienced fear. He walked through difficulty. He had moments of anxiety. Seeing this, rather than taking away the credibility in his words, gives them a depth and emphasizes their truth in a way that would be lost if we never saw hints of his struggles.
Because Paul, who fought the same doubts, questions, regrets, and anxieties that we face, was used by God in a mighty way. This same God is at work in the life of each person who trusts in Christ. The same Spirit lives within us, strengthening us with the power of Almighty God, leading us in His wisdom, making real to us the depth and perfection of His love, cleansing us from all unrighteousness, and He will “present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy” (Jude 1:24).
Our God knows the struggle. He knows the fears that take root in our heart. The wrong choices that continue to haunt us. The pain that won’t heal. The unfaithfulness of others which causes us to wonder if God will stay true to His Word. The weariness, the temptations, the emotions that can change so quickly. And He does not leave us alone here. Even when we doubt, even when our faith wavers, His faithfulness remains constant. He never changes, even if our heart fails.
He meets us here, right in the midst of our struggle. Our God comforts the downcast. He knows exactly the comfort you need, and He provides it flawlessly. It may come to you through a verse, a song, a friend—whatever medium God chooses to use—but it will come. Because He is faithful. And He does care. Enough to place your tears in a bottle. Enough to fill your heart with His perfect love and drive out all of your fear. Enough to mend your brokenness and redeem every sin for His glory. Enough to heal every hurt that has wounded your heart.