I turn to 2 Corinthians 1 and I see afresh these truths:
1) God wants to comfort us –
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles…
I need to remind myself that I have to go to God and share with Him my circumstances, failings, and needs. Instead of saying to myself, “I can do this,” because I usually mean in my own strength; I say to God, “I need Your help.” He wants me to come to Him and ask for mercy, and strength, and a refilling of whatever it is I need. To do this I have to accept what I’m feeling and identify what I need, then I can go to God and ask.
2) God wants the suffering to produce in us patient endurance. (I want to run away, crumble, fight back, or fight against those who trouble me. (Help me God to grow in this patience that reflects certainty of Your goodness and Your patience with us.)
6 [distress, comfort, and salvation] produces…patient endurance…
3) Our hardships go far beyond our ability to endure so that we despair even of life – but this happens so we will quit relying on ourselves and turn to God and rely on Him – who “raises the dead.”
8We 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 despaired even of life. 9Indeed, 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. 10He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us.
This is the great apostle Paul talking!
4) God has delivered us and He will keep delivering us. We must keep putting our hope in Him.
On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us, 11as you help us by your prayers.
He will deliver us, keep praying and trusting.
5) We are to conduct ourselves in God’s grace.
12Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God. We have done so not according to worldly wisdom but according to God’s grace.
I mess this one up, frequently. Lord God, forgive me, help me, and fill me with your grace.
6) We are to receive God’s comfort and truth so that we might share God’s comfort and truth with others.
…and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
11…Then many will give thanks….
Then many will give thanks for God’s goodness, not the least of whom is ourself!
We are to continually grow in our understanding of God and His wonderful mercy, grace, and power. It is not shameful to continually need refilling and refreshing.God is good and we are to seek Him.
Thanks to Patricia at Pollywog Creek, (and God) for these awesome photos.