2 Corinthians 1:3-11
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us with your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
Last week, we considered the main reasons for all of the suffering that Christians face in this life: the fallen condition of the world, persecution, Satan, and personal sin. Jesus warns us that we will face trouble in this world, but we are not to lose heart.
When God doesn’t make sense, why should we hold on to our faith? Let me give you two reasons:
1. We should hold on to our faith because of who God is. In 2 Corinthians 1:3 we read, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.”
God is the one true God and there is no other. He is the creator of the universe. He holds the world in the very palm of His Hand. He is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. This simply means He is all-knowing, all-present and all-powerful. He is the supreme ruler of the universe. He sees all, knows all and is able to overcome all. You cannot go anywhere and hide from His presence. You cannot encounter any problem that He doesn’t know how to solve. You cannot do anything that He cannot overcome. He is above all, over all and able to do all. He is the one true God.
2. God is the Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Jesus came into the world to provide us with the way back to our heavenly Father and to restore our relationship with God as his children.
If you have placed your trust in Jesus, then God is your heavenly Father. As we cry out “Abba, Father,” our identity is redeemed to be a son of God through His Son. His Son who is “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation” (Colossians 1:15). You are accepted by God because you have been forgiven and cleansed. Whatever the Father did for His Son, Jesus, while He was here on earth, He has promised to do for you.
You are precious to Him. You belong to God. You are his child. You can go to Him with every need, every struggle, every problem, and every worry. So, when you feel defeated, when you feel discouraged, when your problems seem overwhelming – remember who God is. He is faithful and you belong to Him!
Hold on to your belonging, and so hold on to your faith – even in the midst of when things do not make sense. Your Father is drawing you close, son.