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2 Corinthians: What God Does When We Hurt (10 of 29)
Series: Through the New Testament
2 Corinthians Overview
Introduction: Hard times come. That's a fact of life. But why? Why do we face them? Why some people more than others?
People answer those questions in a variety of ways. Some suggest that if God's people suffer hard times, then God has failed. Others suggest that hard times mean we have failed. God is punishing us for some sin. That's what Job's would-be advisors contended. Remember God's response? They don't know what they are talking about, the Creator countered.
On the other hand, some argue that we have difficult times because we simply don't have enough of the right kind of faith. If we have enough faith, then we would always be healthy, wealthy, and wise. For some this is the heart of their doctrine of the victorious Spirit-filled life. A truly spiritual person should never get sick, discouraged, or defeated, they say.
Anyone who wants to think this way better stay away from 2 Corinthians. This next book in our journey through the New Testament makes a powerful case for God's role in the midst of hard times. This letter is Paul's most personal and passionate explanation of his own faith and ministry. He voiced his faith in the faithfulness of God to a group of believers that had caused him untold heartache and disappointment. In the process, he teaches us a great deal about what God does in the midst of our hurts.
A bit of background. Corinth was one of the most notoriously wicked cities in the ancient world. Some might have thought it too wicked a place for a church. Not Paul! He thought like the missionary statesman C. T. Studd who penned, "Some want to labor within the sound of church and chapel bell; I want to run a rescue ship within a yard of hell." Paul spent some eighteen months planting that church. It wasn't easy. No sooner had he left than the vile influences of a wicked world began t ...
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