Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Resilience Traced to it's Source

 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 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. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

I have been ruminating about resilience. Which I take to be endurance and hope mixed together with a liberal portion of love thrown in. This thought has be circling now for a few weeks.

Here in this book of Corinthians Paul is teaching people who struggled with so many issues. If I broke them out here it would be pages of material. Within the church there was the salacious and the scandalous as well as the hedonistic. Mixed in were those who were confused and those who knew better but didn't have the courage of their convictions. They were much like the church in the 21 century.

Paul is starting out yet another letter to this church to whom he has written a couple of letters already. He starts out reminding them of who God is.

God is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and sent him to us. God is one who comforts us in the middle of the issues of life. God know the stuff our lives are made up of. What we have we learned of God's comfort and assurance? He brings comfort to us not just for our personal accommodation. Now, hear me well, I am not putting down personal accommodation. We all need the touch of the Father's affirmation and confirmation. But that is that the end of the story. We are given to not so that we can keep, but to enable us to give to others.

That piece may be the hardest for our culture and time to hear.  It is hard for me to hear from time to time.  Blessings, comfort and assurance are not an end in themselves they are really a means to reach others with God's grace.

Is resilience about paying it forward? Paying is not exactly the right word...maybe more accurately...praying it forward.

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