Series: Paul’s Letters
2 Corinthians 1:3-7 ESV
2 Corinthians 3:4-6 ESV
2 Corinthians 3:7-18 ESV
I lost my dad when I was 34 years old. I did not know how to go on without him. See, my dad had been my mentor, my strength, and my champion. He taught me about life, God, and Jesus.
I grieved terribly because I missed him. But I remembered what he said about scripture. He taught me that scripture was the Holy Word of God. He told me that God speaks to us through scripture, even today.
As I grieved I tried to remember everything he taught me about scripture. I prayed and I asked God to speak to me through scripture.
Then I read 2 Corinthians 1:3-7,“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.”
As I grieved, I prayed. I sat with God and cried.
I cried for a long time.
But gradually I was able to let God comfort me. I knew my dad was with God and even though I missed him terribly I was glad he was healed of cancer.
As I continued to sit with God, I gradually came to realize that I had been comforted.
It didn’t happen overnight, but ever so gradually I came to rely on God.
2 Corinthians 3:4-6 says, “Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
While losing my dad was difficult, I was given many many gifts in return. 2 Corinthians 3:7-18 tells us,“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
My dad gave me a start and he laid the foundation for my life with God in Jesus.
I am grateful for everything he taught me.
I now believe that in his last days and hours he prayed for me. He prayed that I would grow up in Jesus and I would rely on God.
He prayed that I would turn to scripture and realize it is God-breathed.
My dad loved scripture. He loved studying his old Bible.
I’m not sure but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that before he passed into the arms of Jesus he knew I would go to Seminary and in my latter years studying scripture would become my passion.
Spiritual Practice: Ask
Ask God to give you passion for Jesus.
In God, Deborah