Troubles and Comfort
Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 1:1-11
1 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, 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.
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.
2 Corinthians 1:9
The apostle Paul and his missionary companions experienced many hardships in their travels. For example, Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 1, “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death.” How did Paul pull through such hardships and persecution? He said that God comforted him and gave him power to overcome them.
Everyone needs consolation. When we need consolation, we can rely on God to comfort us and provide what we need.
Even so, God allows us to face difficult troubles in our lives at times. And when that happens, we can look back to the experiences of other believers, like Paul and his companions—and we can be encouraged that God gave them the comfort and strength to carry through.
We must rely on God, not on our own power. When we realize that God knows our situations and that we totally depend on him, we can trust God with our souls and lives. Our destiny is safe in his hands.
There is working power in prayer. Who works when we pray? God. Notice that Paul doesn’t pray by himself, but that he asks the church to pray too. God comforts us, answers our prayers, and often works miracles when we face hardships. We can trust our faithful, comforting God each day.
Comforting God, guide us to pray each day, walking together in faith and knowing that we are safe in your hands. In Jesus name, Amen.