Gracefully Truthful

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Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

2 Corinthians 1:3-7

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

5 For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that as you share in the sufferings, so you will also share in the comfort.

The Original Intent

1) Why does Paul open his letter with the character of God?

Paul had an amazing transformation when he met God on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-6). Where arrogance and pride once flourished, he now had a healthy reverence and fear of our Lord after his encounter with Christ that changed everything for him. He knew his position under the authority of God because of his dramatic experience and he repeatedly opened his letters with a note on the character of God. 

God’s character was essential to Paul’s story, but also how Paul viewed his missional calling and the happenings around him. Paul recorded his praise of God, his joy in serving Him, or his gratitude in conjunction with these notations of God’s lovely character.

Reflecting on the qualities of the One True God allowed Paul to position his heart on His Lord and opened the hearts of the listeners to receive the word of the Lord.

The Everyday Application

1) Why does Paul open his letter with the character of God?

We can follow Paul’s example to speak the character of God out loud. As we get familiar voicing these truths of God we find in Scripture that describe Him, we are more prepared to remember them in times of trouble.

The more truths of God we know, the faster we can recognize a lie from the enemy and ditch it before it has time to take hold and cause our hearts to wander. Let’s be in the practice of listing the traits of God as we pray, share life in community, or as we shepherd our children.

As you sit with God’s Word this week, make a list of which qualities and characteristics you read about, then look for opportunities to share these with the people around you!

The Original Intent

2) How are sufferings and comfort related?

Paul was writing to the church in Corinth who were struggling with freedom from past sin. Immorality was rampant and the temptation to fall back into the old way of life was strong.

Cultural pulls and the heavy shame of regret fed lies that these believers would never be free or declared righteous before a Holy God. But God’s comfort and grace breaks that self-focused cycle that leads to sin! Paul described this tension in a cycle where one begets the next. We experience suffering –> We receive comfort from God –> We comfort others

In Paul’s understanding, suffering and comfort were two inseparable parts of life that both require complete dependence on God. We may never be able to fully understand all of they whys behind suffering, especially when it feels so unjust, but God’s comfort reminds us that He loves to redeem all things, even the difficult trials!

As we learn to rely and trust His character as Redeemer, we will learn to find comfort in Him and His good heart, even in the middle of suffering.

The Everyday Application

2) How are sufferings and comfort related?

If we view our sufferings and being comforted as part of a cycle, we can see how the Lord gives us purpose in our sufferings. When we’re feeling miserable, we can run to the feet of Jesus and cry out. He will hear us and bring comfort!

The world often tells us that comfort needs to look like relief, but this isn’t a biblical view of comfort. It’s important to note how Paul did not use the word relief; our suffering may indeed continue even after seeking, and finding, comfort from God.

The promise we can cling to is that He will comfort us as we walk through whatever valley we are experiencing. As we walk with the Lord, know Him better, and experience more of His character, we can remember His faithfulness as we wait on Him in the middle of difficulty.

After we’ve been touched by His sweet salve of comfort, we will be better equipped to love on another sister He will bring into our lives.

The Original Intent

3) Whom do we need to comfort?

Paul wanted the church in Corinth (and all churches!) to care for each other as members of the same Body. Never one to sugar coat the reality of the Good News, Paul made it clear that we all need each other within this beautiful Body of Christ called Church if we are to endure to the end. 

Sharing abundantly in the sufferings of Christ was not a popular idea for the Corinthians whose culture enjoyed the finer things in life. His encouragement to the church members was to look past the momentary afflictions and be reminded that so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 

When one person lifts their eyes from the pain of their circumstances, instead choosing to focus on God and His character, they are then freed to comfort others because they have experienced the peace and comfort only found in the Lord God.

The Everyday Application

3) Whom do we need to comfort?

The simple answer: everyone. The more realistic answer is to bring comfort to those in our lives. Community is where it’s at girl! We are so thankful you are here at Gracefully Truthful and consider it an honor to walk with you through the journey of life with Jesus. We believe physical community is also invaluable and encourage you to find a local body of believers to do life with. If you’re needing help finding community, email us at prayer@gracefullytruthful.com and we’d love to talk you through some next steps.

Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to those around you needing comfort and be ready to step forward in obedience! Begin praying now for the Lord to bring you someone in need of comfort in the way you have already experienced in Jesus! Or, maybe this is a new area for you and you aren’t sure what that looks like. Be intentional in seeking out biblical community and dig in with authenticity as you seek the Lord’s own comfort through His people!

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