…sharpening our relationship with God

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6 Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 7 And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation. 2 Cor 1:6,7

By example of suffering, or afflictions, there is a purpose. Through Paul’s suffering, he became an effective teacher of God’s word. This is because the agony that we endure, helps us to turn to God alone for a solution or resolution (see Blue Letter Bible).

Through the example set, endurance in trials became the path to travel to rely solely on God – to solidify our personal relationship with Him.

When in angst, depression, or discomfort, we seek desperately comforts that are within our worldly grasp.

Through Paul’s example we see now that seeking comfort though the unseen brings us the comfort, or consolation of Jesus Christ, and is a reminder of our salvation. It is the bigger picture.

As we learn to live with endurance in affliction, we learn and partake in the consolation and are reminded of our salvation. This is because God has our attention. Even as we may feel we have no way to turn, conversely, we now find our relationship deepening, sharpening, with a God who loves us. The outcome is:

  • We become effectual teachers by example
  • We grow deeper in our personal relationship with God
  • We are reminded that we have attained salvation

The example set forth is either endurance in affliction or elation in consolation. Do not be surprised that trials give way to elation and joy. It is promised that we have our salvation and we are partakers in eternal salvation. For this we praise God.

Rick

November 21, 2011

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