Friday, October 21, 2011

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Blessed be the God and the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ESV)
I found this verse today and I was stunned. It may see a little confusing, so let me break it down. First, it says that God comforts us in our affliction. Isn't that amazing! And it's not just "God," it's God, The Father of our Lord, Jesus CHrist, the Father of MERCIES and God of all COMFORT. Wow. When I read that, I was a little in shock. God gave us His Son to DIE for us! He gives us mercy! He gives us comfort! The verse begins with "Blessed be...". It's so true! BLESSED! We must bless Him!
Usually people would stop there.
But the verse doesn't.
How do we bless Him? That is what next comes into our minds. So is the point of the next verse: "so that we may be able to comfort those are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."
Listen: God doesn't give us comfort so we can sit back in comfortable lives. God gives us comfort so that we can COMFORT OTHERS.
Wait...doesn't that mean giving up our comfort? That's what the verse says..."WITH the comfort..." That makes no sense, why would God give us comfort just so we could use it all up helping others? Why? Doesn't He want us to be happy? Doesn't he want us to be fulfilled?
The answer is that God does want us to be happy. And that is why He gives us comfort to give it; because true joy can only be found in serving others instead of yourself. "In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”(Acts 20:35 ESV). Paul urges us to serve others, because it is more blessed to give than to receive! And do you know what happens if we give?
We receive.
The Bible is clear that when we help others, we will receive our reward. "And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:42 ESV). Even the smallest action of love for God and people will bring a reward!
If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, self-pity, selfishness, worry, trouble with your Christian life, and many, many others-try helping others. Other people in the world have problems too, and when you absorb yourself in THEIR life, helping with THEIR needs, and using your comfort for THEIR comfort-you will find true peace. This is what it means to "bless" God-to love Him, and to serve Him-by loving and serving His people.

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