Handout for sermon: WE SERVE THE FATHER OF MERCIES & THE GOD OF ALL COMFORT. Manchester, TN. Feb. 5th, 2023, 9:30 a.m.
Introduction: We all have challenges, struggles and difficulties in this world. We learn that the “outer man” is decaying (2 Corinthians 4:16) and we live in a futility in this world. God speaks to us about such difficulties in 2 Corinthians 1 & 7. Paul wrote to Timothy and told him that “all that will live godly will suffer persecution” 2 Timothy 3:12. However, God speaks about the hope and longing that we have in Him as we know we will one day be clothed with immortality, 2 Corinthians 15:54-58. We should find joy and encouragement knowing we will one day have a new body in which there will be no suffering, pain and sorrow.
Affliction is a part of our world, none of us can escape it. So, as believers “How do YOU plan to handle affliction. In this world, you will experience affliction by the evil in this world. This evil will affect you and your body. Due to the difficulties and struggles you face you will have lots of pressure on you. How should you handle this if you are “in Christ?”
THE CONTRAST BETWEEN COMFORT AND AFFLICTION. 2 Corinthians 1:1-11
Affliction comes to you because of the world. Paul gives us a contrast between comfort, which God supplies, and affliction, which the world supplies.
To call to your side, to bring someone close to you, to console another, speak to them, to draw them near, to hold them.
It carries the idea of building a closeness, a fellowship and relationship with God.
Do you feel rejected? Do you feel alone or distant? Is there no comfort in your life? Such feelings are the result of evil and the influence of Satan in our world.
The reality of affliction is the reason we, the followers of Jesus Christ, need comfort. God is the one who can provide lasting comfort for us. 2 Cor. 1:3 & 8.
A condition of pain, suffering, distress.
The state of being afflicted, a state of pain, distress, or grief.
Pressure, weight, tribulation, oppression.
Affliction is not of God, it is of the devil, the world and at times people who serve self and evil.
3 Categories of affliction that the Christian can expect: 1) Affliction due to persecution. Persecution because of your faith. Pressure from the world to deny your Lord and Master. 2) Affliction of natural demise. Sorrow due to pain and loss (ever since the garden of Eden). 3) Affliction in the form of the testing of your faithfulness. (In many cases this is the work of Satan, as in the case of Job.) God allowed the devil to do so, but it was the devil’s work!
No matter which form of affliction you are experiencing you must remember God is near and God is the God of ALL comfort! Have your ever wondered WHY does God do this for you? Are you so special that He will come to YOU in your time of difficulty or affliction? What is or are the reasons? There are things you must believe in and know about God in order to be encouraged. Let us look at these.
HAVE FAITH IN GOD THE FATHER!
GOD IS THE FATHER OF MERCIES, 2 Corinthians 1:3. Where would you be without the mercy of God? God is a great God of mercy, and He has shown great mercy to you already. The next affliction that comes may be worse but you have already experienced His mercy and help so we should not doubt He will come to our aid again!
GOD CONTROLS LIFE AND HE IS OUR DELIVERER. 2 Corinthians 1:8-10 Things got really bad in the life of Paul yet God delivered him, that is why Paul did not doubt God was with him.
THE GRACE OF GOD IS ALWAYS AVAILABLE TO US. 2 Corinthians 1:12 Why were Paul & Silas singing in prison? God heard and delivered them to continue to preach and share the Gospel. Read: Psalm 118:1-14 The message and words of this psalm are always true for the child of God!
COMFORT IN AND THROUGH JESUS CHRIST THE SON OF GOD, 2 Corinthians 1:5. If you are in Christ, you will suffer. Our sufferings will be abundant, yet our comfort will also be in abundance. 2 Timothy 3:12, 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 Our earthly tent. While in this earthly tent we find comfort in and through Christ.
Verse 10-11 The fear of the Lord. V. 14-15 The love of Christ. V.16-18 Jesus made me a NEW CREATURE. Read: Romans 5:1-11 Remember while humanity was helpless- Christ died for the ungodly. It starts and ends with Christ.
COMFORT IS PROVIDED BY OUR FELLOW BELIEVERS, 2 Corinthians 1:3-8. God comforts us so that we can comfort others with the comfort God gave us. We are sharers of the affliction.
2 Corinthians 7:1-4 Can you feel this? ”Filled with joy in our deep affliction.” We need each other. The devil wants us to leave each other alone. He wants us to stay alone and isolate ourselves. Why is it when people are afflicted, we want to be alone?
Conclusion: 2 Corinthians 1:1-4