Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Comforting Words: "Move That Bus!"
"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." [2 Co 1:6-7 ESV]
The Corinthian church was in a bit of an uproar, experiencing extreme levels of discomfort so Paul offers words of consolation that have grown out of his own experience. Though he is an example of suffering and comfort, don’t take for granted that Paul’s example came easy for his personal comfort came at a great price.
Think of what it takes to remodel, that messy transformation process that changes a house or office, upgrading the original design. Remodeling is not clean, easy, or cheap. There will always be noise and dust--but in order to bring in the new, the old must be removed. This means we must be ready to give up our best-laid plans when Jesus uses you and me to build up His children and His church.
When our lives and routines are upset by the architect, the master builder is stripping away the old, replacing with the new: old habits must go, replaced with His truths. The beginning of every remodeling project begins with brokenness, when all stability is suddenly torn apart. Perspective is what is most needed here, so that we see through the eyes of the builder, the designer. He holds the blueprints.
Paul knew that his suffering was not without purpose: it was for the building of the church, who in turn experienced suffering of its own. In the same way God gives us experiences so we can comfort someone else in His name in a way that nobody else can. You know, I can’t minister to someone who has lost a child, but someone else can. You may not be able to sit with someone who has wrestled with substance abuse, but I can.
What is broken in your life right now?
What is He removing in order to bring in what is better?
What is being destroyed in order for Him to rebuild?
Are you ready for Him to “move that bus?”
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copyright: JWilson, taken on the campus of Columbia International University