For the past couple of years, I have been posting systematically through the New Testament. I’ve been going book by book in the order that they were revealed to the church through the Holy Spirit.
Recently, I put that on pause because I felt led to do a series on spiritual warfare. I’m now going back to where I left off in the original series. I had just finished 1 Corinthians at that time, so I’ll now begin with 2 Corinthians.
Paul wrote his first letter, and sent it off with Titus to Corinth during the two years he spent at Ephesus (Acts chapter 19). He then had to leave because of the rioting. He went to Macedonia and waited for Titus to return with a report of his visit.
It turned out that many in Corinth received the epistle favorably. However, there were still some who rejected Paul’s authority and teaching. So Paul sends off another letter to respond to what he’s heard.
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
To the church of God in Corinth, together with all the saints throughout Achaia: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
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 have received from God.
2 Corinthians 1:1-4
The word trouble in this passage is actually the Greek word for pressure. I don’t know about you, but personally, I dislike pressure. I try my best to avoid it.
In actuality, we’ll never be exempt from the challenges and pressures of life. But there is a positive outcome that it can bring us.
Pressure qualifies us for ministry. When we learn to endure pressure, we can help others who are undergoing the same things.
Most of us like to be helped. When facing a difficult challenge, even a word of encouragement can go a long way.
If you’re like most people, then you’ve relied upon help at one time or another. Scripture teaches us that part of showing gratefulness is taking the blessing you received and passing it on to someone else.
It can be anything – a kind word, food, a ride, or a helping hand carrying things. If it’s done in obedience to God’s Word, it’s powerful and life-changing.
What we need to start realizing is that even though all these good things came through the people around us, God originated them. All the blessings that we receive come from the Lord’s hand. It’s in thankfulness to Him that we’re willing to pass a blessing on to someone else.
So when we help someone else in their pressure, it’s the Lord who’s actually helping them through us. We become a channel of God’s love reaching out to those around us.
Look for an opportunity, today, to be a blessing to someone. Do something unexpected. Take the good things you’ve received from God and pass them on to someone around you. The Lord will see to it that someday, in some way, you’ll be rewarded for your act of gratefulness to Him.
Question: What are some pressures that God has given you the victory over?
© 2020 Nick Zaccardi