3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 6If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
8We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. 9Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
- Christians may suffer because of the faith that we have. But when we suffer and are persecuted because of Jesus, we can also be comforted because we know that God is at work, seeking reconciliation between God and men and that Christ is the one who comforts us. When we suffer for the gospel, we are put into a position of needing to be dependent on God.
- When was the last time I felt like in a pressure cooker? What happened?
- Whom do I know that is under pressure right now? How would Paul encourage me to pray for him/her this week? Spend a few minutes praying for this person. Give this person a call, in a few days, or write him/her an email asking how things are and telling him/her that you are praying for him/her.
Prayer & Journaling:
Stay with God for a little longer. Continue to converse with God and listen to what he wants to tell me. Then write down any thought and/or prayer in the 2011 “Spiritual Journal” book.