2 Corinthians 1 v 1 - 7

A couple of things immediately come to mind in reading the opening verses of 2 Corinthians: 1. As God's children, we have enormous strength to give to others who do not have the same privilege and God gives us that strength, so that we can reach out to others who are struggling. The strength is given to us to bless others, not to enjoy wholly for ourselves.

2. The more we have challenges and the greater the storms that assail us, the more God will comfort and bless us. It is the very opposite of the Worlds principles, which are all about comfort and security. No, Paul states that the more we put ourselves out there for the sake of God and the Gospel, the more He will pour out upon us and Paul would know! Do you feel like you are walking in the shallows? Do you feel as if you are in a very small pool? Move out of your comfort zone, which did feel great and now feels like it might strangle you, and reach out to others-neighbours, friends, family-in the Name of Jesus!

I have said it before and will continue to say that God does not give you a spirit of timidity and wanting to hide yourself away: He gives you the Spirit of strength, overcoming power and limitless resources. The things which have stretched you and maybe the occasional event which has broken you can be used by God to bless others. No man or woman walks along a path which no one has ever trodden before. I know I will be using some of you as models when my time to suffer comes and I would say that the meaning in your suffering is that you can be an example and a strength to others just beginning along that path.

As Paul wrote to his dear protégé, Timothy: 'God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.'

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