2 Corinthians 1:3-11
The comfort we experience from our heavenly Father should be the first in a “pay it forward” sequence. He comforts us in part so that we can comfort others in a world in great need of compassion. Seize every opportunity to soak up the comfort of God and never miss a chance to pass it on to others – loved ones, strangers, enemies, everyone.
What does Paul say about the Father and His comfort (3-4, 9)? What does Jesus share with us (5)? What are the purposes of Paul’s distress and comfort (6-7)? What does Paul address next (8)? Describe his team’s hardship (8-9). What is its purpose (9)? From what will the Lord continue to deliver us (10)? What is the Corinthian church’s role in helping Paul (11)? How will people respond to their prayers (11)? What does this passage reveal about Christian suffering? How is it more than just a meaningless and painful experience to be avoided at all costs?
Recall specific instances of experiencing the Father’s comfort. What did it produce in you? In what ways are you resistant to the Father’s comfort? What are the consequences? Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart to receive the Father’s compassion and a deeper sense of being His son or daughter. Read verse 9b and meditate on the reality that God raises the dead. How does this truth influence your outlook on sharing in the sufferings of Christ? This week, what one change can you make to approach trials in a more Godly way?