Todays readings.. 2 Kings 8, Lamentations 4, 2 Corinthians 1&2
We live in an increasingly godless world. People in any kind of difficulty expect their Governments to provide and complain when they do not. They are trying to do this in the USA. Govts that are in financial difficulties are increasingly have to do this, indeed some are being forced to cut back on their services.
We started reading Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians today; much of it is quite different in tone to his first letter. He writes of the “God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction” [Ch. 1 v.3,4] and it is our responsibility to comfort and help others who are in trouble “with the comfort with which we ourselves sense we been comforted by God.”
Paul writes of his own experiences and that “we despaired of life itself. Indeed we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God” [v.8,9] So we understand that for some of us, the difficult experiences that challenge us, is a time of training that we might more fully rely on God in the future.
We reflected on events of 78 years ago today when we were young school children. Why was there so much fearful and urgent conversation among adults, among the neighbours? Our parents did not want us to feel troubled, they did not enlighten us. We understood later that it had been the day when war was declared and the terrible 2nd World War began. So many relied on themselves and their countries desperate efforts to develop armed strength – how few relied on God and were confident God was in control.
We are convinced that even more fearful times await this godless world – we must build up our faith so we possess a spirit that fully relies on God. We must aim to develop the convictions Paul ‘worked’ for the Corinthians to enjoy. . The last verse of today’s chapter says, “… we work with you for your joy, as you stand firm in your faith.” This letter has come down to us – it surely is a message that is also for us, let “us rely … on God.”