This was part of our devotion Bible passage this morning at our Men’s Council meeting at Mo-Ranch near Hunt, Texas.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4 NIV)

Love, mercy and forgiveness are the gifts we have received and receive from God. As followers of Jesus we are called to share love, mercy and forgiveness with others. The comfort and encouragement which we receive from these gifts gives us the ability to persevere in times of difficulty.

These verses from our passage resonate with me because they remind me about how God works to shape us through hard times.

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. 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. (2 Corinthians 1:8, 9 NIV)

It IS a blessing to learn to rely more on God and not rely on ourselves. I want to rely entirely on God and have complete faith on His provision for me and my family. It is a constant struggle to maintain that perspective, however. “The World” emphasizes what individuals can do, while Jesus encourages us to focus more on what God can do. I need regular reminders of this. Difficult life circumstances definitely can and do point me to the reality of God’s provision and His sufficiency.

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