It is a difficult time in our country. There is so much unrest, so much division. In the difficult times, it remains especially difficult to put our focus on the Lord, and on the pain and need of others. Paul begins the second letter to the Corinthians with a lovely reminder. The trials we face build a completeness and endurance that are necessary to navigate this life. In addition, the trials we face that could cause us anxiety and pain, then becomes a comfort to others facing the same trials in their lives.
First, when others see us face trials, they no longer feel alone in their struggles. It is inevitable that everyone is somewhere in the process of dealing with trials. We are either coming into a trial, in the middle of a trial, or just delivered from a trial. In each of those locations, God is using us. As we are coming into a trial, God uses us to show the world our reliance upon God and not on ourselves. When we are relying upon God, we face trials with confidence and an absence of fear. In those times, the world scratches its head; wondering how we can be so calm.
Next, while in a trial, we continue to rely upon God and not on our own abilities. Our willingness to wait upon God often produces crazy answers along the path and better long-term results. Still, while we are waiting, the circumstances seem overwhelming. The world remains amazed at the resolve we gain from the Spirit, and often seeks our counsel on how to allow God to also be their comfort.
Finally, upon deliverance, we give the glory to our Lord. As He is given center stage, we are no longer worried about our pride and position. We are only concerned that God is glorified in our behavior and attitudes. As we read the opening of Paul’s letter, clearly, He wants to offer hope and place the praise on God that walks us through trials.
This week, we will focus on those themes and see if we are aligned with the vision of Lordship that Paul is laying out for the Corinthians. If we do align, we will experience peace and victory in our lives and show those we love what victory in Jesus looks like!
God Bless You
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
To the church of God in Corinth, together with all his holy people throughout Achaia:
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Praise to the God of All Comfort
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 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. 7 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.
8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters,[a] 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. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.