Although our getaway for our anniversary was so special and wonderful, it was so good to be back home and see our kiddos. We reconnected with Bella and Sophie last night and then were able to snuggle with the ‘Littles’ (Brooklyn & Prim) when they got up this morning. Bella and Sophie filled us in on all the adventures with the snow and Prim being sick. We were very proud of the ‘Bigs’ for managing so well and frankly, just getting along through the execution of daily activities.
Today, I am going to spend a little more time on this passage (2 Corinthians 1:5-11). This is again, one of those times, where I re-read a passage that I have read many times before but now has so much more significance and even a Godly call to action. I am going to paste this passage in its entirety here and then will expound on the full context below.
For just as Christ’s [own] sufferings fall to our lot [as they overflow upon His disciples, and we share and experience them] abundantly, so through Christ comfort (consolation and encouragement) is also [shared and experienced] abundantly by us.
But if we are troubled (afflicted and distressed), it is for your comfort (consolation and encouragement) and [for your] salvation; and if we are comforted (consoled and encouraged), it is for your comfort (consolation and encouragement), which works [in you] when you patiently endure the same evils (misfortunes and calamities) that we also suffer and undergo.
And our hope for you [our joyful and confident expectation of good for you] is ever unwavering (assured and unshaken); for we know that just as you share and are partners in [our] sufferings and calamities, you also share and are partners in [our] comfort (consolation and encouragement).
For we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about the affliction and oppressing distress which befell us in [the province of] Asia, how we were so utterly and unbearably weighed down and crushed that we despaired even of life [itself].
Indeed, we felt within ourselves that we had received the [very] sentence of death, but that was to keep us from trusting in and depending on ourselves instead of on God Who raises the dead.
[For it is He] Who rescued and saved us from such a perilous death, and He will still rescue and save us; in and on Him we have set our hope (our joyful and confident expectation) that He will again deliver us [from danger and destruction and draw us to Himself],
While you also cooperate by your prayers for us [helping and laboring together with us]. Thus [the lips of] many persons [turned toward God will eventually] give thanks on our behalf for the grace (the blessing of deliverance) granted us at the request of the many who have prayed. 2 Corinthians 1:5-11 [AMP]
I have highlighted the primary areas I want to reinforce. I say reinforce more for myself than for you the reader. God is speaking to both Marianne and I, laying the same convictions and call to walk out in faith in a way that we want to not only be obedient but to also be dependent on His leading and not our own fleshly way of figuring this all out. In other words – we are moving at the pace of God’s timing; not our own.
Highlight #1 – We will suffer…just as Christ suffered. We will incur the effects of sin on our bodies, on society, and through persecution as we testify to the truth of the gospel.
Highlight #2 – Even while we are in the midst of suffering, we can be the conduit by which God delivers comfort to others. Not only that, when we patiently endure our suffering and look for the Hand of God working in those sufferings, our faith grows because we see Him ever present.
Highlight #3 – Our trials and suffering are opportunities for us to draw closer to God.
Highlight #4 – As God draws us to himself, he shows us that He will comfort us and even may deliver us from our circumstances or situations causing the suffering.
Highlight #4+ – It is through prayer that we can come to the Lord and where people can come to the Lord on our behalf, beseeching the deliverance of comfort and thanking God for what He is already doing for our good as we obey Him and lean into His cloak for shelter and safety.
Marianne and I feel a need for Parents of Teenagers (including us) to have a refuge to come to for prayer and co-lamenting for our children who have or are wondering from the truth they have grown up in the church knowing. We are prayerfully asking the Lord what this might look like and how to get it started. Would you join us in prayer for wisdom and direction as we seek to move forward following what God is laying before us?