Posted by: mikenicholsblog | February 20, 2011

and what then?

A physical trial has me focusing on a spiritual challenge and encouragement tonight.  As my body absorbs the adverse effects of the flu, my spirit is encouraged by my journey onWord.  In another of God’s great reminders to me that He is intimately involved in my life, our collective journey through the New Testament brought me to a series of verses in 2 Corinthians today.  Weakened in physical strength, I was reminded by scripture that He knows and He cares.

2 Corinthians 1:5 (MSG)
We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.

While it is not my intent to use verses 3-5 in 2 Corinthians to draw a direct parallel to my physical discomfort, I believe it is purpose, and not coincidence that I, and we are confronted by these words today.  I took great comfort in the fact that their timing speaks to His care for me in my current situation.  And, at the same time, my thoughts are redirected to the larger truth of why I am comforted in any, and all of my trials and troubles.

2 Corinthians 1:4 (MSG)
He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.

My flu symptoms will soon pass, and what then?  My (and your) life trials will reach the breaking point, and then find answer or divine salve, and what then?  At the foundation of God’s design is relationship, and praise God when we  are offered the opportunity to be His messenger of comfort in someone else’s life.

Please do not mistake my words as a solicitation of your sympathy.  And please forgive me for the brevity of tonight’s post.  But I could not remain silent when God so clearly blessed me with the reading of His Word today.  Come alongside me and take the challenge, and accept the encouragement that these verses in 2 Corinthians offer.

Accept freely the comfort that He, and those around you offer in times of discomfort and trial.  And then respond joyfully to the opportunities He provides to be a messenger of comfort in the lives of those around you.  What a great God we serve!  And how amazing is the truth that He desires a personal relationship with us!  A relationship that is true and real in both trial and triumph.

<< special note >>  I have included encouragements before to read on, join, or re-join us as we journey onWord through the New Testament.  And today’s blessing gives me pause to include another.  There have been so many personal blessings in the relatively few weeks since we began reading in January.  Don’t miss out in seeing God’s daily presence in your life reflected back in the words of scripture.  Read on, join, or re-join us today!

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