The Suffering Saint - part 8
As we head into our last part of our series today, Paul has shown us many things pertaining to suffering as he began his second letter to the Corinthians in chapter one, verses 3 through 11. Beginning with a worthy salutation to our God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who is the Father of mercies and God of all comfort to every one of His children. He does all of this showing of comfort and mercy so that we may be able to comfort others who may have gone through the same sufferings and afflictions as we have. That Paul himself was not excluded from great affliction because he was an apostle, but was an example for our salvation also in patient enduring of these trials, that our faith, trust, and reliance upon Him who raises the dead, would be the confidence and assurance for others who would come behind him.
Today we will look at verses 10 and 11 in 2 Cor.1. The Apostle Paul surely knew his ministry to the gentiles looked as if it could be over, but God did indeed spare him from the sentence of death, and Paul praised Him on whom we have set our hope. Paul also mentions the word prayer in our verses - why ask for prayer? Paul desires the help of the Corinthians by way of prayer. Paul could pray on his own, but he desires some corporate prayer for the struggles he faces. The reason he states for this is that many would give thanks to God on their behalf for the blessing granted by God. Our prayers are often for help, and oh they should be, but Paul desires the prayers of many so that when the blessing comes, many will give thanks, praise, and glory to God for His favors that are bestowed upon him.
Paul asks the many Corinthians for help by their prayers to God on behalf of himself, and God gives the blessing in help granted to Paul. Paul reports the blessing back to the many Corinthian prayers so that many thanks can go out to God who has bestowed the answer for help that Paul was looking for. So the request that comes for help, goes out that many can be in prayer, and the prayers go up to God, that when the blessing comes down to provide the help needed, we can tell others that the blessing for help has come, and the giver of every good and perfect gift that comes down from heaven, that that One might receive glory, honor and praise. Oh, how the blessing of answered prayer can give us so much hope and confidence. The apostle Peter states in 1Peter 5:7, "Cast all your cares upon Him because He cares for you."
As we have opportunity to pray for those who ask us to, our weekly prayer letter for the saints at GCC can be shown to be commanded by our Lord through the pen of Paul in Ephesians 6:18, "With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints." Why? So that when the blessing of the answered prayer comes, thanks, honor, and praise can be given by all for the One who has bestowed the favor. He is indeed the God of mercies, a God who has a ready inclination to relieve the miseries of His fallen people. Our greatest sorrow has already been taken care of, for we have been forgiven of our sins and redeemed from the hand of our adversary.
Psalm 102 shows David and his moans, cries, and prayers to God. Verse 17 states, "He has regarded the prayer of the destitute, and has not despised their prayer." English Puritan John Flavel states, "Oh you cannot think how prevailing it is with God, when His poor burdened and afflicted people, in a day of distress and despondency, when deep calleth unto deep, and one wave drives another, then for the oppressed soul with humility, filial confidence and faith, to turn itself to the Lord, and thus bespeak Him."
Elder Randy Slak