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Summary: Paul, Pt. 9

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THE GOD OF ALL COMFORT (2 CORINTHIANS 1:3-6)

Everything that could go wrong went wrong for Will Smith’s character in “The Pursuit of Happyness.” He invested his money into buying and selling bone-density scanners. One of his $250 scanners was stolen by a hippie and another by a lunatic. The lack of income took a toll on his family and his frustrated wife left him on account of his chaotic life, including collecting unnecessary parking tickets, for which he arrested. At about the same time he also bumped into a kind man who paved the way for him to have an opportunity to be a broker, only if he could beat 19 others to the job in an internship. The supervisor at the internship used him for an office boy and even the CEO stiffed him for taxi money in an emergency.

A series of unfortunate events left him and his five-year-old son homeless. When he sold all his scanners the IRS impounded his money for unpaid taxes. He was thrown out of his apartment. They slept overnight in a train station restroom one night when they ran out of money. Every day before 5 pm he lined up with his son at a shelter that would take in limited people, sometimes missing the cut. When he finally recovered his last scanner from the crazy man, it did not work, so he had to donate blood to earn $20 something to replace a default part. Through hard work and determination he succeeded beyond his dreams and was made a broker. At night in the shelter he diligently studied for his broker exam. When he could not convince a big client to give him a chance, he worked hard on other clients.

The best scene was when he was at a chapel service in the shelter, listening to an inspiring song from the choir:

“Lord don’t move that mountain,

Give me the strength to climb it.

Please don’t move that stumbling block,

But lead me Lord around it.”

Have you been mad at God for something that went wrong? A world crisis, a family crisis or an office crisis? In a national survey conducted by George Barna, a cross section of adults were asked: “If you could ask God only one question and you knew He would give you an answer. What would you ask?” The number one answer by 17% of respondents was; “Why is there pain and suffering in the world?” Augustine put it this way: “If there is no God, why is there so much good? If there is a God, why is there so much evil?”

What part does suffering play in our life? How does one outlast tragedy, pain and even loss? Why is suffering possibly a friend and not a foe?

You’ve Got to Be Positive, Not Pessimistic

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, (2 Cor 1:3-4)

In the early 1980’s, Dr. Salvatore R. Maddi, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Irvine, and the author of a forthcoming book, “Resilience at Work,” followed hundreds of employees at Illinois Bell when its parent company, AT&T, was facing federal deregulation. More than 10,000 people eventually lost their jobs. “There was suicide, depression, anxiety disorders, divorces, heart attacks, strokes - all the things that could be attributed to massive stress,” Dr. Maddi said.


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