We want to look at a portion of 2 Corinthians this morning. I want to give you a word of encouragement for those who seem to be living under attack from every direction. There are promises in 2 Corinthians and today we want to see them and apply them to our lives.
2 Corinthians 1: 3 – 11
I have a message for those who seem to be overwhelmed by their trials and troubles that they are going through today
1. God source of all comfort Vs 3, 4
Paul is talking that God is the source of all comfort and he comforts us in all of our troubles.
- Not talking to people who are in trouble because of disobedience or sin
- Does not deny troubles come upon us.
- Talking to those who are passionate for Jesus and are seemingly getting hit from every side.
- Comfort from bowels to be poured out upon us (This word for comfort used 5 times in thesefirst 11 verses
- Comfort = paraklesis means to stand beside a person, encouraging them or helping them.
- Comfort is not about taking away our problems, but to help us stand up under the weight ofthem all.
For what purpose?
Not that we would just get by…so out of the abundance of mercy we receive, we would in turn be able to help those who are unable to tap into this strength.
This is why we are able to praise in the midst of what we are going through.
2. Not alone in suffering Vs 5!
Not only will God pour out his mercy on us when we go through it, Paul takes it a step further.
When we suffer, we are participating in the suffering that Christ went through while here on earth.
- That I might know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his suffering,being made conformable unto his death Philippians 3: 10
- Fellowship = communion ( being at that last meal)
- Conformable = to receive the same form as. (Understanding the walk that Jesus hadhere on earth)
- Examples Betrayal, family rejection, disappointment from those around him, notwanting to drink the cup that is in front of him.
- Close fellowship of those who went through something together that others can’tunderstand.
- Dear friends don’t be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though somethingstrange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ so you would be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 1 Peter 4: 12, 13
- Participate = Communion with
- Revealed = time of understanding and unveiling will happen in our lives.
3. We suffer with each other. Vs 6, 7
There is a sense of corporate pursuit when it comes to suffering.
- We all suffer together
- We all receive comfort from each other.
- Gets us out of our silos of our houses and we get involved with each other and become abody.
EXAMPLE: person hurt and no one helped them so now they quit going to church. They have become what they hated because now they are not helping anyone.
EXAMPLE 2. We become what we are looking at even if it is behind you. Change that to a pursuit of Jesus and conformed to him.
Paul continues this theme in 2 Corinthians 4: 10, 15 Suffering so life of Christ may be seen in our bodies,…and God’s grace reaches more and more people…
As the body acts as it should, more and more people receive Jesus. As Jesus pours out his mercy in abundance. People are changed. !
4. Paul’s personal example Vs 8 – 10
- Again, not suffering because of sin.
- Satanic attack
- Unbelievers coming against him.
Trial did not drive him away from God, but taught him to fully rely on God.
Rescued each and every time until we are done with this mission on earth.
Untouchable until God is done with you.
2 Corinthians 2: 14 Praise God he has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere like a sweet perfume.
5. Call to pray for each other. Vs 11
Our prayers will release all of this that God wants to do in the lives of others.
Luke 11 teaching on prayer does not stop with the Lord’s Prayer.
- Vs 6 A friend of mine has arrived and I have nothing for him to eat.
- God give us bread.
- Last week why bother the teacher anymore? Give up on what God can do.
- Need of the HolySpirit in our lives and the lives of others around us.