Today’s Scripture: 2 Corinthians 1
Have you ever gone through something hard in life and wondered “why is this happening to me”? Or maybe you’ve had someone break a promise, causing doubt that you could trust them again. Life is hard—everyone you know is going through something. We all suffer and we all face troubles.
Paul speaks about these questions in the first chapter of his second letter to the Corinthians. Corinth was well known for its idolatry and immorality. It’s no wonder why these new Christians had a hard time, or why Paul wrote several letters and made multiple visits to help this struggling church.
Paul is talking specifically about trouble that is related to their faith and suffering for Christ. In verse 5 (NIV), Paul says that he is sharing “abundantly in the sufferings of Christ” and, in verses 8-11, he describes trouble that was so serious, he thought he was going to die. He was risking his life for Christ! Later in this letter, he defends his authority as an apostle by talking about how he suffered for Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:9
In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.
Paul came close to death that there could be no more hope for him in this life, but only in the resurrection. This put an end to Paul’s self-confidence, helping him know that only God (not man) could help him with the things that really count. God can redeem our suffering and use it to get our attention and make us realize our dependence on him for absolutely everything.
Don’t pin your hopes on man or anything this world can offer. Look to God for your hope, your joy, and your fulfillment—even in death—for he is the God who raises the dead! If we trust him through our hard times, he will be greatly glorified.
So Paul requested help for himself from the Corinthians by asking for their prayers. Paul learned this lesson: “Put not your trust in men.” What can men do? They can pray to God, for whom nothing is impossible, for help.
When you face suffering, where do you go first for comfort? When in your life did you feel God’s comfort the most? How would you explain it to someone else who is suffering?
God doesn’t help us in our time of need so we will keep it to ourselves. He comforts us so we may bring the same relief to others. Share with someone you know who may need that comfort.
21 Days of Prayer –Day 19
Today’s Prayer Focus: This weekend’s church services—for each guest to be ready and open to receive what God offers this weekend
Together, let’s pray for our weekend services. We pray that each and every guest is open to receiving from God this weekend. We also pray for our DreamTeams to help each guest know that they matter by loving them the way Jesus loves us.
21 Days of Prayer –Day 20
Saturday’s Prayer Focus: Those who don’t know Jesus—your unbelieving friends, family members, coworkers, and neighbors (1 Timothy 2:3-6)
Together, let’s pray for those around us (consider including specific names)—that God would draw their hearts to him, and that our friends, family members, coworkers, and neighbors would begin to understand how much God loves them and devel- op a relationship with him.
21 Days of Prayer –Day 21
Sunday’s Prayer Focus: Praise and worship—praise God for what he has done and worship him for who he is. (Psalm 95:6-7)
As we close out our 21 Days of Prayer, let’s thank God for all he has done in our lives and throughout these 21 days. Let’s also worship God by putting our focus on who he is! Finally, listen to him and receive what he has for you.
This post was written by Gary Schnabel, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.
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