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In The Bible Today; 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Understanding The Bible
The Bible is a timeless text of perennial wisdom. It tells us not only of God and mankind, but it also guides us on our path as spiritual beings in human bodies.
Though the Bible sometimes seems inapproachable and complex, these studies are designed to make the Bible accessible to everyone and applicable to everyday life.
This study uses the SOAP technique: Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer. As you read through and study the bible, and a verse sticks out to you, write it down. Then write down your personal observations regarding the scripture, along with historical notations and any other pertinent information. After you make a thorough observation of the scripture, meditate on how you might apply the lesson learned to your own life. How can you use this particular verse to improve your life or make your spiritual journey better? Finally, write out a prayer to God, as you think about the scripture.
This technique will help you find more meaning from your study of scripture, and will help deepen your walk along a spiritual path.
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 1: 3-5; "3. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4. Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 5. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. King James Version
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 1:3-5; "3. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4. who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ." New International Version
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 1:3-5; "3.Blessed [gratefully praised and adored] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts and encourages us in every trouble so that we will be able to comfort and encourage those who are in any kind of trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For just as Christ’s sufferings are ours in abundance [as they overflow to His followers], so also our comfort [our reassurance, our encouragement, our consolation] is abundant through Christ [it is truly more than enough to endure what we must]." Amplified Bible
Observation: Life is full of trouble, anguish, pain, and also hope.
Sometimes in the midst of our personal suffering, we fail to see the hope. God brings us to the point of great suffering, until we are laid bare, with nowhere to turn but back to Him. It is then, as we lie vulnerable and afraid, that God comforts us and offers hope.
It is at the point of complete surrender that He gathers us gently in his arms of compassion, to soothe our wounds. It is then, when we are wholly broken, that he offers a balm and with spirit soothed, we move into the world to share comfort and hope with those around us.
Although we can love, it is not until we lose love that we understand mourning, loss, pain and heartfelt grief.
When we feel good, we do not fully appreciate the suffering of those who ache, those in pain, and those who suffer. When we hurt, then we understand what it means to hurt.
When we are happy, sometimes fail to grasp the depths of sorrow and sadness. When we are sad, then we comprehend the deep well of sadness and depression that might engulf a friend.
It is through our suffering that God teaches us compassion. It is in our pain, through his comforting, that we learn to offer the gift of gentleness that has been given so generously to us.
Application: From the depth of the pit, it is hard to see God. Surrounded by death-failure-financial ruin-broken marriages-abuse-illness - we can barely see out past our suffering. When we fall into the pit of despair, light cannot enter. Hope seems lost.
But God sends hope in many forms. His comfort comes to us when we seek it. The key is to seek first. When the request for the Holy Spirit is made, God answers immediately. He will never leave you or forsake you. For just a moment, seek his face. Request his presence. Ask for an answer. God will answer your request if you make it known to him.
Do not ignore the answer to your prayer. If you feel lonely and forgotten and the phone rings, do not ignore the call. If you are struggling financially and someone offers to help, humble yourself and let them help. If you are sad and lonely and someone offers the gift of companionship, do not turn them away. If you are hungry and someone brings food, then break bread with your brother. God answers your prayers. Do not turn your back on the angels he sends to rescue you from the pit of darkness. For just a moment, turn your face toward the light.
In so doing, you will both be blessed. If you refuse someone's gift of service, then you deny that person to act for God. You are denying that person the blessing of service. Soften your heart and allow the Spirit to work in the world. God works through people. When people approach you with an answer, do not turn away. Do not harden your heart. Listen to the still small voice, and allow Spirit to speak.
Conversely, when God nudges your heart to reach out, do not harden your heart. Make the phone call. Deliver the meal. Speak the kind word. Offer God's hope. Be a comfort, just as you have been comforted. When you need an angel, God sends one. When someone else needs an angel, God may send you. Do not refuse the gift of service. Be the angel who brightens someone's day with a kind word, a good deed, a hug or a smile.
Every gift is an important offering. Do not withhold good from those who deserve it.
Prayer: Lord, today I seek to do the work you put before me. I yield my heart and my pride to you, God.
I have received your comfort and hope,throughout my life, and I thank you. Use me as you will to bring your gift of peace, love, and joy to others. Allow me to hear your voice today, to know where to serve.
And remind me, Lord, that each one of us carries a heavy burden. Not one is better than any other, and in like manner, we are all blessed. Help me keep my eyes on the blessings you shower me with every day, and remind me that hope is never lost, as long as we seek.
But as for me, I will always have hope.