2 Corinthians 1 today. Verse 4 is powerful. Have you been through a very difficult experience? Is there something that has happened to you that has caused you to wonder, “Where is God? Why did I have to go through this, especially since I try to follow the Lord?” Verse 4 gives one Biblical answer to these questions. Paul simply says, and I am paraphrasing, from the Lord: “You are partly going through this difficult time to be comforted by me and others SO THAT you can then comfort others going through similar circumstances.” If we’ve had a child wander, we help others who are experiencing wayward children. Our alcoholism is used by God so we can help other alcoholics make it through their difficulties. And the list goes on and on. We comfort others in the way we’ve been comforted by the Lord and others! That’s one of the ways God uses evil for good.
Notice too as you read this chapter Paul’s extraordinary faith! He had been through situations where his life was in danger, people disappointed him, etc, yet he constantly relied “on God who can raise the dead” (vs 9). If God raised Jesus from the dead, conquering our problem is nothing to him!
Vs 15: Paul gives the Corinthians a “double blessing” through prayer. So I do to all of you. For your broken places, situations of humiliation, despair, brokenness, hurt and despair, whatever has robbed you of life and energy, I pray today for a double blessing for you. I pray God to restore what has been stolen from you. I pray vs 24, that you “will be full of joy as you stand firm in your faith.”
Finally, some in the Corinthian church who were opposed to Paul said he was not a man of his word because he didn’t come to them earlier as apparently he had promised. But he said he didn’t come to them initially to spare them from a severe rebuke (reread I Corinthians and you’ll see what was going on that needed a rebuke!!). Paul told them his yes is always yes and his no always no (17-23). It’s very important for our word to be our word! Relationships, justice and family can’t work unless people keep their word! Let’s all try to make sure we do so too today.
God bless you all.