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Summary: Remember what God does through us in the midst suffering

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DOWN BUT NOT OUT (PART 3)

2 CORINTHIANS 1:1-11 BRBC 2/17/08

INTRO: STORY OF A MAN NAMED JACK WHO WAS WALKING ALONG A STEEP CLIFF. HE FOUND HIMSELF IN A VERY NARROW PART OF THE PATH AND BEFORE HE REALIZED IT HE WAS SLIDING OVER THE EDGE OF THE CLIFF AND HE FELL. ON THE WAY DOWN HE GRABBED A BRANCH THAT WAS PROTRUDING OUT OF THE SIDE OF THE CLIFF AND TEMPORARILY STOPPED HIS FALL. JACK LOOKED DOWN AND IN HORROR SAW THAT IT WAS MORE THAN A THOUSAND FEET TO THE BOTTOM OF THE CLIFF. HE BEGAN YELLING FOR HELP HOPING SOMEONE WOULD BE PASSING BY AND HEAR HIM. “HELP, HELP, IS ANYONE UP THERE?” JACK WAS ABOUT TO GIVE UP WHEN HE HEARD A VOICE.

“JACK, CAN YOU HEAR ME?”

“YES, YES, I’M DOWN HERE!”

“I CAN SEE YOU JACK, ARE YOU ALRIGHT?”

“YES, I’M OK FOR NOW, BUT WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE ARE YOU?”

“I AM THE LORD JACK, I AM EVERYWHERE.”

“THE LORD, YOU MEAN GOD?”

“THAT’S ME JACK.”

“O’ GOD PLEASE HELP ME! I PROMISE IF YOU GET ME DOWN FROM HERE I WILL BE A REALLY GOOD PERSON. I WILL GO BACK TO CHURCH AND I WILL SERVE YOU THE REST OF MY LIFE!”

“JACK, GO EASY ON THE PROMISES. NOW LISTEN CAREFULLY, HERE IS WHAT I WANT YOU TO DO.”

“I’LL DO ANYTHING GOD JUST GET ME OUT OF HERE!”

“OKAY, JACK, SETTLE DOWN. HERE IS WHAT I WANT YOU TO DO, LET GO OF THE BRANCH!”

SILENCE, THEN JACK SAID “WHAT?”

“I SAID, LET GO OF THE BRANCH JACK, TRUST ME, LET GO.”

THERE WAS A LONG SILENCE. FINALLY JACK YELLED AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS, “HELP, HELP, HELP, IS THERE ANYONE ELSE UP THERE?” MOST OF THE TIME WHEN WE FIND OURSELVES IN THE MIDST OF A TRAIL OR SUFFERING IT WOULD BE REALLY NICE TO HAVE SOMEONE ALONGSIDE US TO HELP OUT. THE LORD IS ALWAYS WITH US IN SUFFERING BUT HE HAS GONE ANOTHER STEP AND HAS GIVEN US PEOPLE, WHO HAVE TRAVELED THE JOURNEY WE ARE ON, TO COME ALONGSIDE US AND EXHORT AND STRENGTHEN US IN OUR SUFFERING TIMES. IT IS VITAL THIS MORNING THAT WE REMEMBER WHAT GOD DOES THROUGH US IN SUFFERING READ V4 – 7

THREE THINGS GOD DOES THRU US IN SUFFERING…FIRST

I. GOD COMFORTS OTHERS THRU US V4B “COMFORT”

A. WHAT IS COMFORT? = “EXHORT STRENGTHEN”

PARACLETUS - HOLY SPIRIT, GOD WANTS US TO BE LIKE HIM WHEN SOMEONE NEEDS COMFORT. JUST AS HE SUFFERED, YET COMFORTED OTHERS AND STILL DOES, HE WANTS US TO AS WELL.

1. NOT THE WORLDS COMFORT

INTROSPECTIVE, SELF-CENTERED =

SELF PITY

DEPENDENT ON US, DO IT OUT OF

OUR NEED

WE ARE NOT TO COMFORT OTHERS IN THAT WAY!

2. GOD’S COMFORT “EXHORT STRENGTHEN”

HELP THEM GROW STRONG.

IN GODLY FAITH

IN UNDERSTANDING OF SUFFERING

SHARE YOUR SUFFERING

NOT IN YOUR STORY BUT IN GODS

STRENGTH TO GET YOU THRU.

ILL: BAD SITUATION, DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY. IF YOU HAVE SIMILAR SITUATION YOU CAN COMFORT, STRENGTHEN AND EXHORT. YOU BECOME LIKE CHRIST; YOU HAVE SUFFERED AND FOUND GRACE. YOUR STORY IS NOT WHAT IS IMPORTANT BUT THAT GOD HELPED YOU MAKE IT THRU IS. WE LOST BABY, MANY COMFORTED – DIDN’T NEED DETAILS OF THEIR LOSS (MORE HURT DONE NOT OUR NEED TO TELL) BUT OF GODS HELP

II. GOD CREATES CHRISTIAN CHARACTER IN US V5

BOTH IN “SUFFERING” AND IN “COMFORT”

IF WE “ABOUND IN THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST…”

THEN OUR “COMFORT ALSO ABOUNDS IN CHRIST”


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