Focal Passage: 2 Corinthians 1:1-11
In 2 Corinthians 1:1-11, the overwhelming idea communicated
is this: not everything is about us.
In other words, it is not all about me. God, being the “God
of all comfort,” grants us comfort so we might be able to comfort others.
Paul intimates the sufferings we face are but an “overflow”
of the suffering Christ Himself faced.
Paul is instructing those of us to view our sufferings as an
opportunity to minister to those who are suffering.
At first glance we might be tempted to say, “You’re kidding,
For many of us, just surviving whatever is afflicting us is
Now Paul wants us to view this as a “study hall prep class?”
I grew up in Illinois.
Because of this, I have experienced many tornadoes in the middle of the night
when our parents would wake us up and either carry us or drive us to a storm
One of the things I distinctly remember is that my dad
always placed himself between the opening in the storm shelter and the rest of
us. I knew even then how destructive tornadoes were, but my dad was
communicating to us they would go through him first.
We might get wet, or blown on, but we would only get
whatever overflowed off of my dad.
Is what Paul is communicating difficult? Yes, it is
unbelievably difficult. Is it possible to survive such ordeals?
Only through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Paul said Christ stood in the way of all of the affliction
and suffering first: “as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us.”
Where is Jesus when a parent or child dies? Where is he when
our spouse is told they have inoperable cancer? Where is Christ when madmen fly
a plane into a building trapping hundreds of people?
He is there, accepting the full-blow of the pain and only
allowing us to receive, according to Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “(God)
is faithful, and He will not allow (us) to be tempted beyond what (we) are
If everything Jesus did during His earthly ministry was done
for the glory of God, should we not remind ourselves that everything in an
obedient believer’s life accomplishes the same thing? Let us remind ourselves
of the grace given to us, so in turn, we may give it to others.
Since every experience we have is custom made for our lives,
those same experiences enable us to minister to others for God’s glory.
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