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The Scriptorium

God at Work

In us, through us. 2 Corinthians 7.5-7

2 Corinthians 7 (3)

Pray Psalm 3.1, 2.
LORD, how they have increased who trouble me!
Many are they who rise up against me.
Many are they who say of me,
There is no help for him in God.”

Sing Psalm 3.1, 2.
Eventide: Abide with Me)
LORD, all around my foes are multiplied,
rising against me, like a ‘whelming tide;
many are saying of my weary soul,
“Not even God can save and make him whole!”

Read 2 Corinthians 7.1-7; meditate on verses 5-7.

1. How did God comfort Paul?

2. How had He comforted Titus?

Paul explained that the work of ministry had worn him down—opposition from without, fears and concerns abounding within (v. 5).

But God knows how to comfort and encourage His children. He does not leave us to languish in our troubles and trials. He comes to us with the comfort of His Presence, the encouragement of His Spirit, and the tender love of colleagues and friends.

What is so remarkable about these verses is that Paul is bearing witness to “God, who comforts the downcast”. But he connects His comfort and encouragement with Titus’ arrival, bearing the good report about how the Corinthians responded to Paul’s first letter. Paul was thus encouraged by Titus and the Corinthians, as Titus himself had been encouraged by them (vv. 6, 7).

That is, God did His work of comforting His saints through the faithful ministrations of other saints. Paul confronted and instructed the Corinthians, who were duly admonished and rightly encouraged. Their positive response encouraged Titus, who then went to Paul in Macedonia with the report that encouraged him amid all his trials.

Our great and sovereign, loving and compassionate heavenly Father does His work—at least this part of His work—through people, people like you and me. People who hear His Word and get busy obeying it. God is truly at work within the faithful believer, willing and doing according to His good pleasure (Phil. 2.13). Who knows how God might be pleased to work through you today? Are you ready? Willing? Available?

Somebody’s day will brighten with hope, peace, and encouragement because of you. God, that is, at work in you.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
In all of life, in every circumstance, through each trial and tribulation, we have an “out” that those in the world do not have— “Nevertheless God” (2 Cor. 7.6).

“For I proclaim the name of the LORD: Ascribe greatness to our God.
He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice,
a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He…
Is He not your Father, who bought you?
Has He not made you and established you?” (Deut. 32.3, 4, 6).

“He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Heb. 13.5).

In our hearts and spirits, through His Word, we experience the tender love and care of God our Father. But sometimes God uses us, His messengers, to do His work; and to show and tell His love. And He often uses others to do the same for us.

When God saw that His children were being oppressed by the Egyptians, instead of blowing Pharaoh and his ilk off the face of the planet, He sent Moses to do His work for Him in a kinder and gentler way.

“I have seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land…Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt” (Ex. 3.7, 8, 10).

We, too, like Moses, are available to be used by God to do His work amongst His people and the world. It is why we are saved. It is our calling and purpose. As Jesus said, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (Jn. 20.21).

And as Paul encouraged us, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation…” (2 Cor. 1.3-6).

Yes, “our great and sovereign, loving and compassionate heavenly Father does His work—at least this part of His work—through people, people like you and me.”

God at work, in us and through us—nevertheless God!

For reflection
1. How do you expect God to be at work in and through you today?

2. How should you prepare each day for the work God wants to do in and through you?

3. Whom will you encourage today in the work of the Lord?

[Paul] declares, that the occasion of his joy was, that Titus had, on returning from them, communicated the most joyful intelligence. Accordingly he declares, that it was not so much the presence of one individual, as the prosperous condition of the Corinthians, that had cheered him. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on 2 Corinthians 7.5-7

Pray Psalm 3.3-8.
Praise God for the comfort and encouragement He provides through family and faithful friends. Ask Him to use you to comfort and encourage others today.

Sing Psalm 3.3-8.
Eventide: Abide with Me)
You are a mercy shield about me, LORD,
raising me by Your glory and Your Word.
Prayers fraught with tears stream from me like a fount,
yet God will answer from His holy mount.

Waking and sleeping, guarded by Your grace,
when foes by thousands stand before my face,
when countless dangers ‘round me are arrayed,
I will not fear, I will not be afraid!

Rise up, O LORD, rise up and rescue me!
Let all my foes destroyed and routed be!
Grace and salvation, LORD, are Yours alone;
bless and protect all those You call Your own.

T. M. and Susie Moore

The Church in Corinth was in need of revival. But there was much to be done before that would happen. The Church today is in need of revival, and the same is true for us. Our book, Revived!, can help us to discern our need for revival and lead us in getting there. Order your copy by clicking here.

Support for Scriptorium comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalteravailable by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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