Daily Readings and Thought for September 3rd. “THAT WAS TO MAKE US RELY..ON GOD”
What thought challenging verses we had today as we started reading 2nd Corinthians. Paul writes of his experiences of afflictions and the “comfort” God gives him to cope with them – and yet his comfort is also founded on the comfort believers give to each other. “The father of mercies,” writes Paul, “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 have been comforted by God.” [1 v.3,4]
Paul, like Jeremiah, had had frightening experiences – he tells them, “we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength 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]
What intense faith challenging experiences Paul had! But such experiences are – faith building – as a result of passing through them they lead him to, as with all committed believers, to “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience” [Heb.10 v.22]
We note how Paul went on to express his convictions of God’s overriding care, “He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.” [v.10]
Then Paul makes a point we must take careful note of – “You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of the many” [v.11]
And in praying may it be we can, like Paul, do so with “a clear conscience” for in the next verse we read, “For our boast is this: the testimony of our conscience that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God …”
And “by the grace of God” may we all learn to rely not on ourselves but on God” As this world falls into ever greater disarray and increasing ungodliness that will become even more essential.