Thursday, May 19, 2016

the struggle is real

Our experiences with life lead us to see and embrace the purpose that we were created for.  We were created to live with purpose, and that purpose is a gift from our creator and savior. 

When we are squeezed, beaten, punished or accused, what comes out of us?  Our experiences lead us to lean on ourselves or to think we are hopeless, helpless and headed nowhere.  That could not be more wrong.

God brought us this far, and God will see us through.  God has blessed us in the process.  There’s more to come!

3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 5 For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. 6 Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. 7 We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us. 8 We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. 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. 10 And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. 11 And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.

God is our source of purpose.  He gives us a plan.  And He gets all, I mean all, the glory.  God is in charge.  He has our lives and all things in His control and in His hands.  It is time for us to align our lives with this truth.  That leads us to live a life of giving.

I pray that our church, The Community Fellowship, and our partners will be known for being givers and not as takers.  Let us be known for being generous.  That is something we plan to be.  It becomes more natural the closer we get to God.

God comforts us in times of trouble and beyond.  The reason we have this awesome comfort and strength in our lives is so we comfort others.  The suffering for Christ is our example.  There is a purpose for everything, and God works in the middle of every part of it.

God intends for us to have confidence in Christ when we struggle.  Paul said his experience was real.  He was crushed, overwhelmed and even thought he would die.  The struggles are real.

But the result, because they followed Christ, is that Paul and his companions stopped relying on themselves and began to lean on God.  This verse ends with a reassurance because God can raise the dead.  He seeks to remind us that God will help us in our struggle, and He is able to do anything including raising the dead.

Paul went on to say we have been rescued from physical danger, and that God will rescue them again.  Paul’s confidence rested in God alone.  Our part is to pray, to believe God and to press on.  God has a plan.

To pray without expectation is to misunderstand the whole concept of prayer and relationship with God. -- A W Tozer

May God help us grasp our purpose, endure struggles and fully rely on Him beginning with our prayer lives getting stronger and stronger.

NOTE: much of this post was first shared in November of 2014

No comments:

TUESDAY... thoughts on being thankful

It is almost Thanksgiving.  At least it is almost the day where the people of the United States of America celebrate wh...