Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Servant's Survival Strategy

For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ. 2 Cor 1:5 (NRSV)

The world is full of survival manuals and instructions. You need them whenever you go into unfamiliar territory. Second Corinthians is a Servant's Survival Manual containing a Servant's Survival Strategy. Chapter 1 in the manual is, “How do servants deal with burdensome problems?” There are three steps, none of which can be ignored.

God pours out His comfort.

He cannot help Himself, it's His character to comfort. He is the God of compassion. He is the Father of all comfort. The word comfort here means “to come alongside and help.” God promises Himself to comfort His servants in difficult times.

We are filled with God’s comfort.

God makes comfort more than a word on a page, He makes it real in our lives. God's comfort comes in reaction to our circumstances. This is why worry is so devastating: we're trying to find the comfort before we've faced the circumstance. God’s comfort causes us to look back after the trouble is past and say, “I don't know how I survived that.”

Our comfort from God overflows to others.

We are comforted, so that we might comfort others. We may not always be able to figure out the reasons why a problem comes into our lives. But we can always see God work the miracle of transforming our sufferings into other’s comfort. God’s comfort is so magnificent that when He pours it out on us there is always enough that it overflows to others.

Family Discussion Question: What is one place in your life where God’s comfort has or could overflow from you to others?Family Activity: Show your children how God’s comfort overflows by filling up a glass with a gallon pitcher of water. Talk about the fact that because God is bigger than us He always has more help to give us than we will need.

Listen to II Cor 1! [The Message]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the family discussion question!