Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God that is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in the whole of Achaia: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who 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 are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort." (2 Corinthians 1:1-7, ESV)It is amazing what you see when you slow down and look at Scripture thought-by-thought, and word-for-word. My prayer is that my memorizing these types of passages will serve other believers (and non-believers). Here are some thoughts...
- Paul's calling and being sent was by the will of God, not just his own idea or even the idea of other godly people around him. They surely recognized the call, but its origin was God.
- Paul puts Timothy on par with himself, despite Timothy's youth, inexperience, etc. He gives him value in our eyes by calling him a brother.
- The church is God's church, not mine or anyone else's. We are stewards, not owners.
- The church is made up of saints, so you are reading St. Curtis' blog.
- Grace and peace! Could there be two greater things that we could wish upon fellow believers? Furthermore, they come from God the Father and Jesus.
- God can (and should) be blessed even in affliction.
- God is the Father of mercies, and God of all comfort. All comfort, that's pretty extensive, huh?
- He is the source of comfort, not us. What does that mean? In the end, the words I choose to share in attempt to comfort will only be comforting because God uses them to comfort. That takes a lot of pressure off of us, when we feel the need to say just the right thing.