Exchange Your Hurt for Healing

by

Sometimes you have “one of those days.”

Accident Reports on Insurance Claims (source)…

  1. Leaving home for work I drove out of my drive and straight into a bus; the bus was five minutes early.
  2. I was driving my car out of the driveway in the usual manner, when it was struck by the other car in the same place it had been struck several times before.
  3. I had been learning to drive with power steering. I turned the wheel to what I thought was enough and found myself in a different direction going the opposite way.
  4. One wheel went into the ditch. My foot jumped from the accelerator pedal, leapt across the lane to the other side and jammed in the trunk of a tree.
  5. I was on my way to the doctor with rear end trouble when my universal joint gave way causing me to have an accident.
  6. I was knocked out as a result of the collision and was taken to hospital where I sustained serious injuries.
  7. Coming home, I drove into the wrong house and struck a tree I haven’t got.
  8. The accident was caused by me waving to the man I hit last week.
  9. I had been driving for forty years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had an accident.
  10. I pulled into a lay-by with smoke coming from under the hood. I realized the car was on fire so took my dog and smothered it with a blanket.
  11. I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law, and headed over the embankment.
  12. A truck backed through my windshield onto my wife’s face.

But seriously… you’ve probably had some really bad days in your life. You may have had one this week. The Apostle Paul had some pretty bad days…

2 Corinthians 11:23-27 NRSV

[23] Are they ministers of Christ? I am talking like a madman-I am a better one: with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless floggings, and often near death. [24] Five times I have received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. [25] Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I received a stoning. Three times I was shipwrecked; for a night and a day I was adrift at sea; [26] on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from bandits, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers and sisters; [27] in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, hungry and thirsty, often without food, cold and naked.

How did Paul get through that kind of stuff?

He wrote about it at the beginning of his second letter to the Corinthians and that’s the passage I want us to look at today…

2 Corinthians 1:3-7 NRSV

[3] Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, [4] who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God. [5] For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ. [6] If we are being afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation; if we are being consoled, it is for your consolation, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we are also suffering. [7] Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our consolation.

Two Big Challenges When You’re Overwhelmed with Trouble

1. When you give your problems to God, he will give you his comfort.

Paul speaks of God with a sort of title or nickname: he’s the “God of all comfort.”

And Paul says God comforts us in all of our troubles. “Troubles” is a general word for affliction, annoyance, or inconvenience.

None of the problems you face are too small for God to care about.

And none of them are too big for him to handle.

He has all comfort, for all troubles.

2. When God gives you his comfort, you can give comfort to others.

When you walk through troubles and trust them to God, receiving his comfort, it’s like going to school and learning how to be a comfort to others.

If you want to know what comforting someone looks like, look at the life and ministry of Jesus.

Write your troubles down and bring them to the altar for prayer. Let’s pray for the God of all comfort to give us his healing!

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