There is a Reason You Go Through Tough Stuff – Daniel J. Koren's
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There is a Reason You Go Through Tough Stuff

Posted by danieljkoren on January 22, 2019 in Devotional |

My wife and I were falling apart. Our 3-month-old daughter had just coded blue and the ER staff were now prepping her to fly to Children’s Hospital. My phone rang and I heard the voice of one of my elders, Stan Gleason. He was responding to my message and was preparing to go in front of a crowd of several hundred believers and ask them to pray. 

Leanne holds the baby at Children’s in 2008

While we raced across St. Louis through rush-hour traffic and road construction, our parental fears slowly lifted for no good reason. As we pulled into Children’s, I noticed our nerves were not shot anymore. An unexplainable peace settled over us that would carry us through the next few days of uncertainty about what was wrong with her.

What we experienced there was something I would only understand many years later. That was in 2008. Last week, I finally found a “why” behind suffering. 

The Scriptures promise us that God “comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (II Corinthians 1:3 NLT). 

Tribulation is a big word, but not so big that you have not experienced it. While listening to Arthur Vanderhoff, II teach a couple weeks ago, I was moved by his explanation of this word. Apparently this is the word used to describe a form of punishment used on Roman soldiers. If a soldier had been disloyal, a large stone was placed on his chest and left there to slowly squeeze air out of his lungs. This “between a rock and a hard place” situation would gradually take his life as he grew weaker and could not lift his chest again to get more air.

You have been through tribulation. You have been through things that slowly crushed the life out of you. But my God is there to take you through that—to lift you up from that overwhelming weight in life. It took a few crushing situations in my life until I discovered that Bible verses like these were not just cute quotes. Once He put His hand on me and lifted that stone off, I got to live what He promised.

Yes, it would be nice if the problems were removed, too, but that is not the point. My daughter went through a series of tests. We burnt through money like kindling paying for hotels and restaurants. I wrecked our minivan while talking on the phone trying to explain to my pastor’s wife details of our daughters progress. By God’s grace, the driver of the car I pulled in front of walked away and the children with me were unscarred (but not unscared). 

I wish I could tell you the God of comfort will take away all the bad stuff. However, what I discovered is that He will take away the worst part: that paralyzing fear of the unknown. He showed up that day while we drove up the ramp in the parking garage of Children’s. She wasn’t instantly healed, but He was with us through the process. 

God has brought you through some things. You might be going through something right now. Discover Him as the God of comfort. As you learn this aspect of His nature, you will learn how to “be there” for others. God’s plan is for us to comfort others as He comforts us.

Are you bringing comfort to he hurting? Or just Bible doctrine? Did you realize that helping a person heal will give you an opportunity to present the gospel to them? Sometimes just being there is the most important thing you can do. When Tobi Bockman showed up and gave us a ride to the hospital, that was God’s comfort. When Arnold Mangus stood over our child and prophesied life, that was God’s comfort. When he loaned me his Jeep to drive, that was God’s comfort.

Side hug someone this week, and say, “We will get through this together.” Congratulations, you just got a taste of being like God. Bring comfort. Bring healing. And watch who will listen to your witness now.

Please share your story of how someone helped you heal by being the comfort of God in a situation where you felt like breath was being squeezed out of you. How have you comforted others and how did they respond?

17 Comments

  • Susan Costa says:

    Bro. Koren: thank you so much for sharing this. God bless you and your family.

  • Shaun Butler says:

    Thank you for sharing!

  • Sherii Parrett says:

    I really appreciate this article. I never heard this information regarding tribulation. Thank you.

  • Judith Eastham says:

    I also got this understanding when we lost our son in a drowning accident 25 years ago. And when, some years later a lady in our church had a child that drown we were able to support her. It doesn’t make it easier for you, but it helps a little when you are wanting life to make some kind of sense and feel like you have a purpose.

  • Natalie DIXON says:

    Very good words . Since reading this and actually thinking about my tribulation and problems. I see God’s comfort sprinkled throughout. I can think through many times when that amazing peace floods you and you were talking about.

  • jean says:

    Diagnosed with cancer 10 years ago,the news was crushing. Alone and overwhelmed,I asked God for a scripture.. He directed me to ” Is there any thing to hard for the Lord?” God helped me to get through treatment and I am alive by his mercy. The trial taught me how important it is to minister to others. At church,I try to connect with 2-3 that are having hard times to offer prayer and to listen. Made me aware of how fragile life is and birthed a prison ministry. I must not waste a moment of life.

  • Rhonda Potter says:

    I too have faced a situation similar to yours. When our oldest granddaughter was just a toddler she was kicked by a horse. (My son didn’t know that she was close to the pen and he was putting up the feed.) He grabbed her up and ran to the house. She wasn’t breathing. Her mother knew CPR and performed it on Ashley on the way to the hospital. This was before cellphones and we got home to a dozen messages on our answering machine, the last being that she was being life-flighted to Children’s hospital in Little Rock. We called several pastor friends to pray before we left for the hospital. My husband was Pastor in Salem, Arkansas at this time and we prayed on our way to Children’s (a 2 hour drive). During our prayer the peace of God wrapped around us and I knew everything would be alright. When we got to the hospital our son’s pastor met us at the door. He told us that he fully expected to have to preach a funeral because of Ashley’s condition when she was loaded onto the helicopter. When he got to Little Rock he had been met by the crew who told him,”We did nothing!”. He told us that she had received miraculous healing. When we got to her room she was walking around and playing like nothing happened. She had a little bruise on her cheek and one on her chest. The X-ray in Batesville showed a fracture in her arm and in Little Rock their X-ray showed nothing! I have encouraged several people with this testimony! Thank you for sharing yours and making me remember what God has done for us.

  • Dodie Woolem says:

    I am learning this right now as our family deals with a crisis many families, unfortunately, deal with today. While I cannot understand the whys, I can lean on my Comforter!

  • Denene Pelkey says:

    Thank you so much! I needed this today as a reminder of His grace!

  • Donna says:

    Yes I’ve been there in and I’m been diagnosed with a rare disease
    I’ve give comfort and prayed for others.

    A lot of what you said and the verse brought back when
    God here lately has reminded me I’m here with you
    My child!!

    I know going through tribulations they teach you
    Things about yourself plus helping others has helped me
    If it’s just a small thing!

    Thank you Bro Koren that really touched me
    and Gods presence is so strong❣️🙏

  • Mary says:

    You are such a gifted writer and this blessed me so much. I’m so thankful for God’s comfort and love! Thanks for sharing this powerful testimony!

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