Summary: We all need help when it comes to dealing with life’s difficulities
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. 9 Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
1) The Purpose of Hard Times
a) To take our eyes of self
i) To Help others
ii) To depend on God
b) Man’s biggest problem according to scripture is . . . the flesh (Not the devil) – Rom 7
c) Ball and chain vision
d) Only the resurrection power of Jesus can break the hold of the flesh
e) We need to die to self and then be resurrected.
2) How to handle Hard Times
a) Realise that you are not alone
i) God is with us
ii) Others are with us
(1) We are all in the same boat
(2) No good pretending these things don’t happen
(I do not want you to be uninformed – I am a positive person but I have hard times too)
b) Take your eyes off self
i) Forgiveness becomes easier
ii) Loneliness becomes easier to handle
iii) Other people have got problems bigger than your own
c) Rely on God’s resurrection power
i) Need to know that God has delivered; will deliver and will continue to deliver you
d) Need the prayer of others.
e) Be positive (praise God)
i) Being positive is a lifestyle
ii) It means seeing God’s purpose in everything (even your trials
iii) A negative person finds fault in everything – we need to help one another be positive.