Hearing God’s Voice from His Word
James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
Take a moment and turn your attention to God. Tell God that you desire to trust and obey Him. Ask God to speak to you from His word.
Psalm of the Day
Psalm 89:1-4 I will sing about the Lord’s faithful love forever; I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations with my mouth. 2 For I will declare, “Faithful love is built up forever; you establish your faithfulness in the heavens.”
3 The Lord said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn an oath to David my servant: 4 ‘I will establish your offspring forever and build up your throne for all generations.’
Read the Entire Psalm
Speak of God’s Faithfulness Speak out loud of God’s faithfulness. Yes, you can read this silently to yourself but follow the instructions of this Psalm and speak out loud. God has faithful love – Thank him. God is always faithful – praise Him.
2 Corinthians 1:3-11 – New International Version
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 receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 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 and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received 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 again. 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.
Having God’s Ear through Prayer
- Express thanks to God.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal sin to you.
- Confess your sin to Him and receive forgiveness.
(1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sin He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins.”)
- Bring your personal requests to God.
(Psalm 62:8 “Pour out your heart before God”)
- Pray for someone in your small group.
- Join with others from River and pray for Isaac and Suzanne Michaels. Ask God to provide for them, encourage them, and guide them as they serve at Black Forest Academy.
Living as God’s People by applying the Bible
Scripture Reflection from the Sermon
In verses 3–7, we find the theme of comfort and encouragement. The word “comfort” appears 9 times in 5 verses. Paul begins his letter (writing from a place of immense suffering himself) by praising God. He names God as the “God of all comfort.” This points to the comprehensive nature of God’s comfort. Paul emphasizes the comfort and encouragement he receives from God more than he emphasizes the suffering and affliction. This does not mean that Paul ignored his affliction or was dismissive toward it. Quite the opposite. Paul will later say he was “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Cor 6:10). Paul experienced comfort and affliction simultaneously. Yet even though Paul has recently experienced great suffering, he chooses to accent God’s comfort. This reveals that Paul was not merely a passive victim to the affliction he experienced. In spite of his great affliction, he chose to emphasize his capacity to direct his mind to what was true: God has not abandoned him. If Paul trusted his disorienting feelings in the aftermath of his great affliction, he would’ve been driven to despair. But instead, Paul sets his mind on the reality of God’s comforting presence. Think about your life. In what ways can you train to set your mind on what is true in all circumstances?