We are people who rest so much in our lives on the promises of others.  For some of us failed promises have scarred us for life and our skepticism in others looms over every human connection that we have.  Yet, we still cling to hope that we may be able to find those who are trustworthy and restore our joy in believing in the promises of others.

The Apostle Paul tells the church at Corinth that they can count on the promises of God.  In fact he doesn’t argue the point or try to defend its validity.  Rather, he simply states it as a fact and admonishes believers to act on the truth of it.

God assures us that He will be present in our lives.  Knowing that God is always there for us is an incomparable comfort.  Instead of cowering in fear, we live by faith assured that He is watching over us.

To maximize our connection with the LORD we must live a life of purity.  Both physically and spiritually we must live wholesome lives free from sin.  Our passion must tenaciously pursue our perfecting of holiness out of a deep respect for God.

Paul reminds us of his qualification to admonish all believers so personally.  His intentions are honorable and humbly based on a fellowship with us as equals not as superiors.  Joy is his delight when he contemplates his relationship with other believers.

To highlight his encouraging motive to edify believers, Paul lets some of his own personal troubles leak out.  He was exhausted and buried under troubles when he began his ministry in Macedonia.  Harassment, conflict and fear pressured the Apostle as he did God’s work.

In contrast to the hardships, almost as a means to dismiss those painful challenges as inconsequential, Paul points to the encouragement that God gave to him.  Titus was a blessing.  His presence, fellowship and ministry of encouragement was very effective.

Will believers ever learn that the effect of their words have a great impact on those in the ministry?  To them they are simply expressing their opinion.  But, it comes across as critical and drains those in His service. 

But, while the critics and the opinionated may never come to their senses, there are always the encouragers who make up for their shortcomings.  These special lives breathe life into the weary servants of the LORD.  They give strength to those on the frontline of service.  Praise the LORD  for them!

2 corinthians 7.1-7

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography