Read: II Corinthians 1:12-2:11
Think: In both letters to the Corinthians, Paul, the great evangelist, refers to his rocky relationship with the church. His words, at times, are difficult to read because of the dissensions, hurt and pain the church has caused him Yet Paul chooses to divert his attention away from dissension and toward the Lord Jesus Christ, saying He is, “…God’s ultimate ‘Yes,” He always does what he says. . . .It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.”
Act: Can you think of a recent time someone in the church hurt you, or when someone you loved and respected disappointed you, or when someone you admired caused you to distrust them? (If you can’t think of a recent time, you are probably very young!) Paul gives us three insights on how to move past relationship woes: (1) Because it is inevitable that you will experience disappointment, opposition, or misunderstanding with people you love, you must look to Jesus as your source of strength. He is able to give you the ability to stand firm and mature in your faith. (2) It’s not all about you! You have been given an assignment to share in Christ’s mission on earth—this requires working together with the body of Christ on earth, even though it isn’t easy. (3) God’s Holy Spirit has been given to you to “rule” in your heart, to guide your thoughts, to give you “marching orders,” and remind you of His eternal promises. The Holy Spirit wants us to maturely address and overcome our relationship woes! Today, personalize this passage. Do you have a pending or unresolved relationship “woe?” Ask God to divert your attention back to Jesus. Ask Him to show you how He would have you put your faith in action so that, as Paul concludes in this chapter, “. . .Satan will not outsmart us.”
Pray: Dear Jesus, you know my current relationship woes. You know where I’ve been hurt; You know whom I’ve hurt. Give me the confidence to know when to speak and when to remain silent. Remind me to forgive as You forgive—willingly and undeservedly. I need You today, Lord, to fill me with an extra measure of love, humility and Your precious Holy Spirit. Amen.
Be full of faith today!