Sermon Reflections from God Promises Problems | Damon Hopkins | September 17, 2023
How many of us experience pain, suffering, and difficulties in our life? The answer would be that all of us do. At some point in our life, whether it's right now, in the past, or in the future... All of us will experience some kind of suffering. In those moments we often look for healing from those within our perimeter of view or we look towards things of this world. But...What about if we looked somewhere else? What if we sought to find comfort in God?
In these verses, 2 Corinthians 1:3-8, the Apostle Paul expresses praise and gratitude to God, who is the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. Paul acknowledges that God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others in their troubles with the comfort we have received from Him. He emphasizes that as followers of Christ, they have shared in both suffering and consolation. Paul shares his own experiences of facing hardships in Asia, where he and his companions were burdened beyond their ability to endure, even to the point of despair. However, he notes that this occurred so that they would not rely on themselves but on God, who raises the dead. Paul concludes by expressing his confidence that God will continue to deliver them from such perilous situations and that the Corinthians' prayers will contribute to their deliverance.
Have you ever noticed how we seem to need or want God more when problems are big? That when we realize we can't solve this thing or overcome that obstacle or achieve something on our own, is exactly when God seems to be most prevalent. Like Paul, when we are at our weakest, the best thing we can do is get on our knees and pray to God. We need to surrender our life over to God and let him take control. Is it easy?!? Nope. Being vulnerable and open is very difficult to do. Asking for help is hard to do. Complete surrender seems impossible to do, but it's the best thing we can do. God is not just some big God who lives in a galaxy far far away. Our God is close by and cares deeply for us. He knows every detail about us. God is waiting for us to turn to him instead of this world. As amazing as our friends and family are they can't do what God can do. God can wipe away every tear, overcome every fear, give us peace beyond understanding, and give us hope when all seems lost.
In essence, these verses remind us to find comfort and strength in God during times of difficulty and suffering, and how in doing so, it enables believers to offer support and empathy to others facing similar challenges.
I don't know what you or others in your life is going through right now, but my hope and prayer is that you lean into God during this time. Pray for God's comfort to be upon everyone present and for the ability to comfort others in times of need.
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