I ran across a very interesting quote today: "The Gospel, it is said, comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable."
True in my experience! The second verse of John Newton's hymn, Amazing Grace, says this well, too: "Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved."
What does grace have to do with the Gospel? Everything! If God wasn't being gracious to us, none of us would have any hope of measuring up to His standards. He sent his Son to provide what we couldn't do for ourselves. I've seen an acrostic like this:
Some denominations don't like this particular verse of Newton's hymn, though, and exclude it from their hymn books, saying it crosses what they see is a definite line between the action of God's Law and God's Gospel of Grace.
Yes, St. Paul talks about the different roles of Law and Gospel in his letter to the Romans. But there is more of a gray area or overlap between these concepts in real life. In an individual life or heart, comfort and affliction often co-exist.
In my humble opinion, God works according to His ways, not always by the rigid definitions we humans prescribe. He sees the whole picture, and we don't.