Forgiving those who have repented of sin; Lordship of Christ; suffering of Christians.
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 (II Cor. 1:4).
Tribulation in one form or another is a necessary part of the Christian life (Acts 14:22; I Peter 1:6, 7; 4:12-13). Christ was always conscious of His purpose for coming to earth, to die on the cross for the sins of the world. And, just as it was necessary for Him to die, we too, must be willing partakers of His sufferings. Jesus told His disciples If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. . . . if they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you (John 15:18-20). Just like many that have gone on before us, the believers in today's times can expect to face their own persecutions. Jesus warned His followers, and today throughout the world, we have brothers and sisters in Christ that are suffering as much persecution or more than many of the early Christians.
There are many nations today that treat believers no better than they were treated by Rome in the days of the early Church. It is believed that there have been more believers martyred for the cause of Christ in the last hundred years than in the first few centuries of the early church combined. Even in many nations considered friendly to Christianity, restrictions are being placed on believers. Laws are being written in many of these nations to silence the Truth. It is no wonder we are warned of our coming troubles. However we should not consider it all bad news. These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).
We can face trials and sufferings with assurance that our Lord has said I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Heb.13:5). God imparts an inner comfort that only He can give. This comfort of the Holy Spirit has a twofold effect. Not only are our burdens lifted, but we become qualified to comfort others by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. As we come to an assurance that God is our deliverer, we must share the Good News with others. We need to become encouragers. I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His Kingdom; Preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry (II Tim. 4:1-2,5).
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy (I Peter 4:13).
Thought for Today:
God's comfort to us enables us to comfort others.
For II Cor. 3:13: See Ex. 34:33-35. II Cor. 4:13: See Ps. 116:10.
2:5 not overcharge, not overstate the case or be too severe; 2:9 know the proof of you, test your loyalty; 2:14 savour, satisfaction, sweetness, like a lovely fragrance; 3:10 even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth, what was glorious (Law given to Moses) has no glory in comparison to the surpassing glory of Jesus Christ; 4:15 redound, abound, overflow, result in abundance.
Pray for Staff: Pam Murton • Government Officials: Sec'y. Eric Shinseki (Dept. of Veterans Affairs) and Sen. Michael Bennet (CO) • Country: Guatemala (12.3 million) in Central America • Major languages: Spanish and Indian languages • Religious freedom • 60% Catholic; 35% Protestant; 2% Animist; 1.5% Other; 1.5% None • Prayer Suggestion: Know that the Lord is loving and merciful to His children (Jer. 31:9).
Memory Verse for the Week: Titus 2:14