Trials are about trust. That is a key point in 2 Corinthians 1.8-11 which we looked at as a church on Sunday. In this text Paul speaks about his own trials and deliverance in Asia, and teaches us 2 key truths about tribulation in our lives:
1. Tribulation reveals our neediness.
In verses 8-9 Paul does not give us many details about the nature of his tribulation in Asia, or his deliverance. However, Paul does not shy away from telling the Corinthians that these trials were beyond his strength. In fact, Paul says that part of God’s purpose for trials in our life is to show us that we are not strong enough without Him. Sometimes we like to pretend that we are strong, and ignore the obvious weaknesses that trials reveal, but God wants us to see our limitations and our need for Him.
2. Tribulation redirects our trust.
God does not just show us our neediness through trials, but redirects our trust to His vast resources as the God who raised Jesus from the dead! God wants to use trials to show us our weakness, but also to show us His immeasurable strength. When trials come our way, we don’t need to be scared if we feel incapable of handling them. God wants us to feel this way so that we then grow in our faith. May God comfort us in the midst of trials by building our trust in His resurrection power so that even if God does not deliver us from our immediate trials, we can be confident that God will one day raise us up into His kingdom in final deliverance!
Here are some discussion questions and the order of service form our worship together: 2 Cor. 1.8-11 Notes.
-Pastor Nathan Hogan
On Sunday we began a series on Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians as we looked at 2 Cor. 1:1-7. If you would like an overview of Paul’s history/relationship with the Corinthians, here is a good summary video:
In Sunday’s text Paul almost immediately begins to speak to the Corinthians about affliction and God’s comfort. Paul is convinced that God comforts His people, and Paul gives us two reasons for this fact:
1. God comforts us because of His nature.
Paul says in verse 3 that our Lord is the God of all comfort. God comforts because He is a comforter by His very nature. He loves to comfort His people. Sometimes we don’t feel like God comforts us because we either misunderstand the nature of God, or we misunderstand the nature of comfort. God does not always comfort us by taking away our affliction. Often He will comfort us by sustaining us in the midst of our affliction. God brings us into affliction, but God also comforts us in the midst of affliction, and in this we can rejoice!
2. God comforts us for the sake of others.
In verse 4 we are told that God allows affliction in our lives, then comforts us in affliction so that we can then comfort others. God brings us through trials and comforts us in order that we might become better comforters to others. As you are afflicted in this world, don’t forget that our sovereign Lord is at work preparing you to comfort His people with the same comfort you receive from Him!
Here is the order of worship from Sunday as well as some discussion/application questions based on the sermon: 2 Cor. 1.1-7 Insert PDF.
I am very much looking forward to studying this book together as a church. May God glorify Himself through the preaching of His Word!
-Pastor Nathan Hogan