Tag: gracious favor
Scripture reading for August 26th: 2nd Corinthians 1:1-11
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and 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 have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” (2nd Corinthians 1:2-5) Paul begins this second letter with a burst of praise from his heart to God! Paul had suffered many times for the Gospel in his journey to this point. The sufferings of Christ had flowed in his life but he had also experienced God’s comfort and compassion. In fact, Paul told the Corinthians that God’s purpose was to equip us with a flow of God’s comfort and compassion to bring to others who were also suffering.
Paul had experienced great suffering in Asia. “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we even despaired of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” (2nd Corinthians 1:8-9) Paul’s suffering brought a real fear of death. It was far beyond his natural ability to endure, but God came along side of him. The suffering drove him to even deeper trust in God and His resurrection power. If death came, Paul and his companions must cling to God and His promises!
“He has delivered us from such deadly peril and will continue to deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers.” (2nd Corinthians 1:10-11a) Paul’s faith in God was expressed by sharing the comfort he had received. This comfort would continue to flow as these Corinthians helped him by their prayers to God on his behalf. Prayer for those in suffering increases the flow of God’s comfort!
Today, many are suffering for the cause of Christ around the world. When one hurts, we all share in that hurt! The God of compassion wants to use you and me to pray for those who suffer. Will you take time to pray today?