Looking at Paul's second letter to the Corinthians, it's amazing how there is even a church in Corinth in the first place. It was by the mercy of God that there is a church there despite the sins of the people and the surrounding culture. Apostle Paul also endured many afflictions while ministering to the people of Corinth and elsewhere and though these afflictions were difficult we can learn as Apostle Paul did to use these times as an opportunity to experience comfort from God. Though there is difficulty, ministry allows us to be in a place of pure dependence and reliance on God which we often avoid in life. When we actually get to experience it, we realize it is a good place to be. As we do, and as we count the cost of following Jesus, we can see God using these times of affliction to increase our capacity to bless even more people, expand our maturity, and widen our hearts. Let us embrace these opportunities and thereby experience deeper fellowship with God and experience the texture of our relationship with Him change as we directly experience that comfort and strength from God Himself.