Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #234 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading 2 Corinthians 1 today and our focus is on The God of ALL Comfort. Does God Keep the Most Godly From Suffering? We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new in listeners in Thanks for listening! Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
Verses 8-10 of our passage contain some of my favorite promises and truths in Scripture:
8 We don’t want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, of our affliction that took place in Asia. We were completely overwhelmed—beyond our strength—so that we even despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death, so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a terrible death, and he will deliver us. We have put our hope in him that he will deliver us again 2 Corinthians 1:8-10
As we discussed just a few days ago, this passage shows us that God will indeed give us more than we can bear, but it also shows us that God will rescue and deliver us when we are overwhelmed. God gives us more than we can take – more than we can bear for the same reason that He did that to Paul – so that we will trust less and less in ourselves and more and more in Him. Such a truth does not always make sense to the youth and strong – nor to those who have never faced a situation that was enormously bigger than their ability to solve that situation – but the older you get, the more you realize that we do not usually have enough strength, wits, assets, or ideas to solve the greatest difficulties of life, so it is good that we would trust in God more than ourselves, because God can indeed solve every difficulty and trouble.
What about when we are going through those overwhelming times? Must we just wait miserably until God rescues us? What if we are going through unimaginable trials – death of a loved one -sickness without a cure, or other difficulties that likely won’t be solved on this side of eternity – must we simply wait patiently (and heartbrokenly) until Jesus returns and wipes away every tear? The truth of our chapter today is that we must not wait on God without comfort…because HE is our comfort, indeed, Paul tells us that God is the God of ALL comfort, and Paul knows this, because He has been through trial after bone-crushing trial…and he has found God to be faithful and comforting through those trials.
Did you catch that? The apostle Paul went through terrible trials. Some of us think that, the more Godly we become, the more God will protect us from trials and troubles. Is that true? Absolutely not, says pastor Tony Evans:
[in Paul] We are talking about the most spiritual Christian that’s ever lived. We are talking about somebody who loved the Lord. We are not talking about some pagan or some carnal Christian, we’re talking about one of the most spiritual people who has ever lived, and he says I know affliction.
So don’t think, because you know Jesus you escape affliction. Don’t be misled that you somehow go to church, give your money, that somehow you avoid affliction. It comes with being an occupant. Paul, the most spiritual Christian who has ever lived, says that life has its troubles, and it got to the point where I just didn’t know if I could live anymore. In other words, we all need comfort during times of affliction.
Now, let me say this before I go on, I don’t want you to be totally depressed today. If you are not currently in affliction, enjoy every minute of it, because you don’t know how long that’s going to last either. You don’t know how long your affliction is going to last, you don’t know how long your non-affliction is going to last, so maximize the moments, because there will come a time when you need comfort.
Paul says in verse 3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort.” It’s called the doxology, it’s a praise, blessed, that means to speak well of. He says I am going to praise God, because even though I have afflictions, I also have, “the God of all comfort.” In other words, he wants us to know that while affliction is unavoidable in life, there is no affliction for which God cannot and will not supply adequate comfort. And I like the word, all-comfort, not some comfort. He gives comfort commensurate to the need that the affliction has caused, and there is no affliction that anyone this morning is going through for which the God of all comfort won’t cover. He is the God of all comfort that covers all affliction.
You don’t have to read it now, but sometime read Isaiah 43, verses 2 and following, where God says and—“I will be with you.” When you go through the fire, I will be with you. When you go through the waters, I’ll be with you; when you go through the troubles of life, He says over and over and over again in that passage, I will be with you. He didn’t say, you won’t go through it; He said I am going to be with you.
Tony Evans, “‘Caring Enough to Comfort,’” in Tony Evans Sermon Archive (Tony Evans, 2015), 2 Co 1:3–7.
Let’s read our passage.
Bible Memory verses for the month of August: 4 Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant, 5 is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs. 6 Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-6
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