Devotionals

The Comparison Trap: Struggles

2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV  

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Paul had a thorn  It was to keep him humble and focused.  He declared that he would not boast about himself or people would think him conceited. He wanted to be trustworthy and gracious, setting an example of Christian faith.

Paul doesn’t describe his thorn much other than it’s a reminder from the  enemy. It was kept by God to teach a lesson on grace and sufficiency.   Paul taught how the comfort of the Lord leads us to humility.

I also have the opinion that Paul didn’t talk about that exact trouble in order to not fall into a comparison game.   That game with other believers could have led to pride and division.

I was recently asked about why I haven’t talked about my ailments much in the past.   They were only spoken about in order to bring some awareness and discussion. I  had surgery last Spring the reasons became a talking-point.

Before my surgery, I didn’t avoid the topic because of prideful issues. I avoided it because when I had brought it in the past up I was pulled into that comparison trap. Struggles are not meant to be compared or lamented over.  They are there to bring us to humility, to help us relate to others, to point us to God and to teach us to comfort others.

 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 NIV Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.  For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.  If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.  And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

We go through trials so that we can learn to seek comfort from Christ and later pay that comfort forward to others. There may still be a struggle.  We may want to wrap ourselves up with prideful complaining, but the Lord tends to point us in a different direction. We  need to allow Him to be the one we go to, and not to others in joint lamentation.

Let us thank the Lord for keeping us humble in our afflictions. Click To Tweet

Let us thank the Lord for keeping us humble in our afflictions.

He locks us into truth before we even know what that truth is at times. His grace is always sufficient and keeps us grounded. We may regret not relying on Him in past times of pain, but we can also look back over the refining process in those times.  We could look back and see where we came from and how we have grown in faith..

Thank you, Jesus, for always walking with us and never making our burdens greater than we can handle.   Even though we often feel so very small and weak, Your grace is always sufficient.   Thank you, Dear Lord. Amen

15 thoughts on “The Comparison Trap: Struggles

  1. “They are there to bring us to humility, to help us relate to others, to point us to God and to teach us to comfort others.” Amen! I believe this with my whole heart! I will praise the Lord through trials, for it’s these times that prove His power and goodness! Thank you for sharing and for the reminder to praise Him in all things! <3

  2. I agree with Susan Evans. This life isn’t promised that we will never have to face trials. I have yet to find a verse that says God won’t give us more than we can handle. Our hope is in Jesus and like you said above we need to use these trials to comfort others and not compare. I really enjoyed this article! Thank you for sharing =)

  3. God’s grace is completely sufficient for us. I really appreciated this thought:

    “He locks us into truth before we even know what that truth is at times.”

  4. I never thought about why Paul never divulged the reason for his pain, but it makes sense that it would have caused comparison! Great insight into Scripture, and also a wonderful message to go to God for all our pains!

  5. Love this point on struggles, “They are there to bring us to humility, to help us relate to others, to point us to God and to teach us to comfort others.” We tend to think everything is about us, but the story God weaves is more complicated than that. Praise God for His grace.

  6. This was a very good read. Love this: “Struggles are not meant to be compared or lamented over. They are there to bring us to humility, to help us relate to others, to point us to God and to teach us to comfort others.” Such truth!

  7. This is such an important topic. I am glad you are discussing it here too! We need to have eyes only for the road set before us, not comparing our trials or victories to anyone else. In Christ alone we find our purpose, and it is always secure and unchanging.

  8. But God DOES allow us to have burdens more than we can handle. Rape, for example, is more than a woman can bear. Women in this day and age have to endure horrors and still keep breathing and not go insane.

    “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself.” 2 Corinthians 1:8

    Thankfully we have the hope that one day we will be with Jesus (who will wipe away every tear after we are dead), but many women can hardly go on breathing because of the horrors they have endured.

    Those of us who have gotten some measure of comfort from the presence of Jesus need to go comfort others who are suffering, so that they can endure their miserable lives caused by other people’s sin.

  9. This is such a great reminder. “Struggles are not meant to be compared or lamented over. They are there to bring us to humility, to help us relate to others, to point us to God and to teach us to comfort others.” It can become all too easy to fall into the comparison trap.

  10. I am so thankful for God’s grace, and how He grows us in our faith through all things — even affliction.

  11. “We go through trials so that we can learn to seek comfort from Christ and later pay that comfort forward to others.” So true!

    “He locks us into truth before we even know what that truth is at times.”

    Love this!!

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