Grace CRC Midweek Devotion: Week One

Grace CRC Midweek Devotion: Week One

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 1:3-6  Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves received from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If 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.

                      1 John 3:1-3 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ.

Devotion from “The Louder Song” NavPress: In 2015, my husband Kevin and I entered one of the most difficult seasons we’ve ever been through. I was diagnosed with a chronic autoimmune disease. We lost a beloved family member, and our youngest son was suffering through some developmental issues.

I’d like to tell you that I rose above, overcame, more-than-conquered. But truthfully, my faith in God wavered. My go-to spiritual disciplines no longer helped me feel connected to Jesus. My gnawing questions about suffering and God’s goodness became too much to handle.

Although I’ve been a Christian for thirty years, for the first time in my walk with God, I began to wonder if I was praying to the ceiling fan. Ultimately, God no longer fit into the box I had designated for Him, and I had no idea what to do about it. What I didn’t realize is that God was about to blow the box wide open and reveal more of Himself to me. And in the middle of this very difficult season, God gently led me back to Himself and to His supernatural comfort.

In today’s reading, the apostle Paul writes about a time he faced overwhelming trouble. Paul was crushed to the point of thinking he’d actually die. In his pain, he reminds us that we have a great Comforter—who comforts us at the very moment we need Him most. Paul makes three significant points:

1) God is the source of all comfort. This may seem obvious, but we don’t always live like it is. We run to so many other things or other people for comfort. What would it look like to stop running to all of those things, and instead, cry out to God for His comfort?

2) We don’t have live in fear of seasons of anguish. Difficult seasons are actually beautiful invitations into deeper intimacy with God. In fact, Paul proclaims that the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with His comfort through Christ. What an incredible thought!

3) We are called to comfort others with the comfort we’ve received. Who might God want you to comfort today?

Reflect:

  • Attribute: Chose an attribute of God* reflected in the readings or one you feel prompted to note. Write it down and think on how God has blessed or touched your life through that attribute.
  • Prayer:Suggestions – Give God thanks and mention times when He sent great comfort to you or someone you love. Pray for His comfort for those suffering around the world, in our nation, and in our families. Pray for forgiveness for our pride, unbelief, our shortcomings in loving others as we should. Ask Him to fill you with the love of Jesus and make you a comfort and blessing to those whom you love and to those whom nobody but God loves.
  • An Act of Kindness: Suggestion – Reach out to someone you have not spoken to lately. Tell them how much they mean to you.

*Eternal, incomprehensible, invisible, unchangeable, infinite, almighty; wise, good, loving, gracious, merciful, patient, holy, righteous, sovereign.

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