Daily Readings and Thought for September 3rd. “BUT THAT WAS TO MAKE US RELY … ON GOD”
We live in an increasingly godless world. People in any kind of difficulty expect their Governments to provide and complain when they do not. They are trying to do this in the USA. Govts that are in financial difficulties increasingly have to do this, indeed some are being forced to cut back on their services.
We started reading Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians today; much of it is quite different in tone to his first letter. He writes of the “God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction” [Ch. 1 v.3,4] and it is our responsibility to comfort and help others who are in trouble “with the comfort with which we ourselves sense we been comforted by God.”
Paul writes of his own experiences and that “we despaired of life itself. Indeed we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God” [v.8,9] So we understand that for some of us, the difficult experiences that challenge us, is a time of training that we might more fully rely on God in the future.
We reflected on events over the last 7 decades, As a child of the 50”s and 60’s of events fresh after the most devastating war which culminated in the demonstration of the awesome power of the atomic bomb detonated in Hiroshima and its consequent loss of life. The world was horrified and awestruck with fear as to what this would mean for our future. So the subsequent two decades were worrisome for my parents as to what type of world that there children would inherit. In this same period more and more drifted away from God. – how few relied on God and were confident God was in control.
We are convinced that even more fearful times await this godless world – we must build up our faith so we possess a spirit that fully relies on God. We must aim to develop the convictions that Paul ‘worked’ for the Corinthians to enjoy. . The last verse of today’s chapter says, “… we work with you for your joy, as you stand firm in your faith.” This letter has come down to us – it surely is a message that is also for us, let “us rely … on God.”