2nd Corinthians 13:7-13

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Second Corinthians chapter 13 is where we’re going to be today, and we’re going to end this book together. Today is the last day that we’re going to be going through the Book of Corinthians. We’re going to start our next series in Romans and I am pumped about the book of Romans. That is the book of books. If you are new to the Christian faith or asking questions about the Christian faith. Joining us in the Book of Romans, Romans lays a beautiful foundation of what it looks like to follow after Jesus and understanding the truths communicated in Scripture. In fact, it’s been said about the book of Romans. If you lose all the books of the Bible but have Romans as a believer, you’ve got the truths of what you need to pursue after the Lord. So excited to get into this. And as we get ready to conclude Corinthians together today, this has been a beautiful book that we’ve gone through as well. And one of the things that’s really nice that ties in Corinthians to the book of Romans is when Paul is about to make his final journey to Corinth, as he’s writing this letter, he goes and visits Corinth. And it’s during this next visit to Corinth that he actually writes the book of Romans. And so these these two books tie together in a beautiful way. But the book of Second Corinthians, have you gone through this with us together? This is this is the most personal letter that the Apostle Paul has written in all of his epistles that he wrote in the New Testament.

This letter deals with the way that he’s been personally attacked and how he’s approached that. And I’ve shared with you just some some easy ways to look through the book of Corinthians if you go back and study this again at any personal time in your life. The first seven chapters of Corinthians Paul deals with his personal relationship to the Church of Corinth, and he’s teaching them about the relationship with God as they deal with the tension that exists between them, because they have rejected the Apostle Paul and have been pursuing false teachers. And so Paul’s his heart has been to continue to put himself out towards the Corinthians to reconcile that relationship, though he is not to blame. But Paul knows that their rejection of him ultimately leads to their rejection of Jesus because he is an apostle and therefore in the first century, the the mouthpiece of Christ on this earth, and to reject Paul’s, to reject Jesus. And Paul is not primarily interested in really what they think about him as much as he’s interested in what they think about Jesus. And so first seven chapters of second Corinthians deals with that relationship. And if I maybe give you one verse to kind of hinge all all of those first seven chapters on, there’s a lot of good verses and chapters in the first seven chapters of of Corinthians, but chapter five, verse 17 is sort of that pinnacle verse that people point to.

If you are in Christ, you are a new creation. Old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new. And it goes on to talk about you being therefore an ambassador in Christ, begging the world to be reconciled to Jesus. It’s a beautiful section. Chapter five, verse 17 to 21. But I love when he refers to us as a new creation. There’s so many, so such theologically rich thoughts expressed in that. I think one of the things that is helpful in what Jesus is saying there is understanding who Jesus was and in light of how Israel rejected him, Israel had this picture of when the Messiah would come, that he would dominate the world and restore, and they would lead this geopolitical kingdom that Christ is going to present. When Jesus was crucified, they went from shouting on his triumphal entry, blessed as He who comes in the name of the Lord to to reject Him because of the shame fulness of being crucified. But but Paul reminds us that the purpose of Jesus first coming was to reconcile our hearts to God, so that when we see Him at his second coming, we’re not under the wrath of God, but rather the grace of God. And Paul says that beautifully when he refers to us as a new creation, a new creation in Christ.

Because if you remember in the beginning of the Bible that when God speaks, life begins. That was His original creation, and creation rebelled against God and sin devastated the world. And now we have become enemies of God because of sin. But Jesus has come and He’s given His life for us that we could be made new, that we would become a new creation, so that when Christ returns, we’re not under the wrath of God, but rest under the grace of God and the joy of His presence for all of eternity. It’s a beautiful picture in second Corinthians five. And then and then verse chapter eight and nine goes into the idea of generosity. And a good mark of measuring your maturity in Christ is to see whether or not you carry a good spirit of generosity in the Lord. And in chapter nine, verse seven, it tells us God loves a cheerful giver, not one that gives reluctantly. But they see their position on this earth as representing his kingdom and have a delight to serve for the King. And they use the resources that God has given them to be a blessing to the people around them, to this to this world, in order to glorify God. And then in Chapter ten, to to to today, the end of this chapter, Paul’s dealing with the false teachers. He goes directly towards the false teachers that have crept into this church and poisoned the attitudes of the church towards the Apostle Paul and gets very personal in it.

But one of the things I love about Paul is that while while the false teachers that they call themselves super apostles come in and they brag about their charisma and how great they are and how welfare they are, and look how good they are. You know, the Apostle Paul when he comes in to to brag about him. Self. Rather than highlight himself, the apostle Paul chooses to live in his weakness. In fact, it’s one of the themes that we have on this and this banner is God’s Power Made Known in our Weakness in second Corinthians, chapter 12, verse nine. That’s what Paul says. I would rather boast my weakness that the glory of God would be made known. Paul rested confidently in Christ. And as we get to the end of this, this Chapter 13 today is starting in verse seven. Paul is going to conclude this by by helping us with with two ways of living out our Christian life. One is in the area of prayer. And the other is in the area of maintaining a godly perspective. Now we’ll deal a little bit with that godly perspective and why it’s important in just a moment. But this morning I want to talk to you about prayer, and then we’re going to talk about a godly perspective.

And then we’re actually going to cut our live feed because I don’t want to share something personal. I think that will apply practically in living and sound in our lives. Something important for our church family, I think, exclusively to know this morning. But in dealing with the thought of prayer, godly prayer, and why it’s important, why it’s essential in our lives, it’s important to to see the purpose for which God has created prayer for us. One of the most essential duties and privileges for the life of a believer is to have the opportunity to pray. And I know sometimes in our life we may we may have experienced the place where we’ve asked the question, why, why pray? Some may see prayer as unimportant. Some may see it as boring. And so we might ask the question, why pray? And let me just say, if your your life has ever hinted towards that question or maybe even asked that question, can I can I be just a little forward this morning and say sometimes the reason we we ask that question is because. Our lives aren’t fully engaged. Engaged? With the importance for which we have been called to live in light of Christ. And what I mean by that is when you’re sitting on a couch looking at an electronic device of some sort, numbing your brain into a meaningless existence, you’re going to ask the question, Why pray? But when you begin to realize anything that you do for the Lord in this world requires His spiritual power at work within you.

When you’ve invested in Christ and you’ve given your life to Christ and it has cost you to pursue Christ, and you’ve sacrificially contributed towards what His Kingdom asks of you to live intentionally for that purpose, you don’t ask the question, Why pray? When you wake up like our brothers and sisters of Christ around the world, and you realize in pursuit of Jesus that your life is really on the line. You know, asking the question, why pray? The thought doesn’t even cross your mind because you understand the importance for which prayer exists. Prayer. Prayer is not about pleasing God. Prayer. Prayer. Prayer is not about God sitting up in heaven and and saying, Oh, I just need people to talk to me. I feel unimportant, right? I mean, there is some pleasing in God in prayer and there’s some glorifying God in prayer, certainly. But but prayer doesn’t primarily exist because God does this needing needy, being just looking at you saying, Oh, I wish they would just talk to me. I feel inadequate. And until they say something to me. Prayer primarily exists for you as an opportunity to connect to God because you can’t do what God calls you to do in this world with without that relationship with him. In fact, in Hebrews it says this in chapter four, verse 16, it says, Let us then with confidence, draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in the time of need.

God doesn’t need us to talk to him. But we certainly need the Lord. And prayer is a gift. And in Hebrews it’s as if it’s saying to us, You get to come directly before the presence of God. And not not just come before the presence of God because because you belong to him, you’ve been adopted. If you’re in Christ, you get to come before the Lord boldly and what God brings you in His presence as this this beautiful picture of mercy and grace and ready to to minister to your soul in your hour of need for whatever you might be seeking God for. This is a privilege to not take lightly to thank the King of Kings, Lord of Lords allows you into His presence in the way that Hebrews paints this picture, as if you remember in in Israel’s day in the Old Testament, they they had this temple, and the temple is where God’s presence dwelt directly. They only had one temple and they only had one room where God’s presence was made known. And only one person could enter that room one time of year. And it had to be the High Priest. And he had to do it after after going through this ritual ceremony for the removal of his sin before he would even be allowed to enter into that throne.

And now suddenly into the New Testament, every believer in Christ is able to be thrusted before the presence of God to seek His face and to find grace and mercy in their time of need. Prayer is a privilege. It is it is a gift for God’s people to be able to connect to the Lord. And what a gift it is to know that no matter where you are. And whatever you’re going through. God wants to hear from you. To the point that the King of Kings allows you to enter into his presence boldly. And his heart is to give of himself towards you and grace and mercy. And while we see the significance of prayer, learning what to pray is is important as well. I mean, as people, there is this maturity, I think that should happen in the life of the believer to be able to leverage prayer to to the the ability for which God has created it and permitted it for us. I find sometimes the life of believers, we tend to use prayer as a tool simply to enhance our creature comforts, like when we’re living life the way that we just simply enjoy life. And there’s not a lot of obstacles in front of us. We rarely think about prayer, but all of a sudden, when something difficult happens in life now, now we become very prayerful and we engage prayer in the sense that we just want God to bring things back to where we enjoy them in our creature comforts, to only shelve that relationship with God again until we have something that we don’t like.

And we we then use the idea of prayer as if he were this genie to to serve us in in our creature comforts. But prayer other in Scripture is is better communicated to us as a way to experience God in His glory. See our prayers. They tend to focus on on the storms of life. But but, Paul, and we’ll see this even here, that Paul tends to focus on the heart of the individual going through the storm. We’re all about creature comforts. The pulse prayer tends to be about strengthening the heart of the believer, no matter the circumstance. It almost begs the question why settle for fixing just simply the circumstance when we can have the power of God’s presence no matter what we go through? And learning to read in Scripture and examine the way that Paul writes his prayers before the body of Christ helps us to kind of learn what does it look like to begin to pray maturely? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with when there’s adversity in your life to pray in light of that adversity. But to simply end with the the physical things that we go through in life is to drastically fall short from the way that scripture tends to communicate prayer.

And in fact, if you grab notes this morning, you’ll see I listed a handful of prayers in which the Apostle Paul, or at least the references where the Apostle Paul writes prayers before the church, for example, Ephesians chapter one, verse 18, to know what is the hope of God’s calling and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance and all the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power towards us who believe. Paul’s desire for the Ephesians chapter one is really to experience the depth of who God is and in experiencing the depth and recognizing that that God is promised His presence, his promise to be with the people of God no matter the circumstance that they have an anchor on, no matter where the journey is leading in, in their lives. And Philippians chapter one, verse nine, that love would abound still more and more in the real knowledge and all discernment so that they would approve the things that are excellent and be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ. Colossians one, verse nine that you would be filled with the knowledge of His will and all spiritual wisdom and understanding, walking in a manner worthy of the Lord and please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God and strengthened with all power, according to His glorious mind, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience.

It’s a little different than Johnny’s got a cold. Please take Johnny’s cold away. Right. It’s it’s to experience the depth of who God is, no matter no matter what you go through in life. And Paul then in light of all that. Paul in second Corinthians chapter 13 and verse seven begins by talking about prayer. And he actually mentions really two, two thoughts as it relates to prayer. And I think they’re they’re connected to one another. But this is how he begins to end his his letter here, he says, But we pray to God. That you may not do wrong. I know some of you mean been like you read a verse like that and you’re like, finally, I’ve been trying to explain to my spouse for years that I’ve never been all right. It’s because the Lord answered the prayer and the answer. But Paul saying this, Look, my prayer for you is rather that you would walk in the truth. I remember the church was an error up into this this moment, because they’ve been pursuing the teachings of of these super apostles, which were contrary to Christ. It was a different Jesus and a different gospel. And Paul’s saying, Here’s my prayer for you. That you would walk in, in truth. Not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right.

Though we may seem to have failed. And I love polls even prioritizing this. I want you as a church to walk in the truth. And and here’s how important it is that this be experienced in you that I would rather see that happen for you than to be more concerned with what people think about me. That’s what Paul is saying here, the passing of the test. Or you remember the apostle Paul there saying the apostle Paul is not a true apostle. In fact, he talks a big game. He’s going to he’s going to write this letter to you and act like he’s going to show up like he’s tough. But when he shows up, he’s going to be weak. This guy has been beat up. He’s been mocked. He’s been whipped. I mean, you don’t want to be like Paul. He’s destitute and he’s poor and he shows up. He is. He is. He is not the kind of guy to impress you. And Paul is saying and in writing this letter, he’s saying, I’m going to show up with my apostolic authority. Unless. Unless your heart be given to the truth. And if your heart’s given to the truth. I don’t need to come in with my apostolic authority. And to show people who’s really in charge. Matter of fact, the claims that they’re saying against me, I’ll just show up on my weakness, and they can continue to say that.

Because I would rather see what God wants to do in you. Then to really give a rip about what people think about me. My heart. This for you. And Paul and carrying that theme of this thought that they would not not be do wrong in this prayer. Paul then says in verse eight four, We cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth, for we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Verse eight. I think even in our own culture, we have in the last, say, decade, started to experience what verse eight really means in a practical way. As I say in our culture today, things that I thought that our culture would push, that our culture is pushing today, I think 20, 30, 40 years ago just seemed unimaginable. And we as a people, we are a relational people and we enjoy acceptance from one another. And we don’t like to feel like we’re isolated, taking a stand for ourselves sometimes. In fact, I would say most of the time we like to run with crowds. We like to feel like we belong. And Paul is saying, look, not only do I want you to stand for truth, but Paul’s recognizing in verse eight that sometimes it’s hard to stand for what is right because it’s not always popular. But I want to see you so confident in the truth that no matter if every voice in the world speaks against what you’re for in Jesus.

But your heart would stand for Jesus. And when we stand for Jesus. Can I just add to this? That we not do it in anger against other people. But that we do it boldly in love for others. Paul’s wanting to see a church that’s confident in the truth of who God is, that no matter what the world throws at them. They walk in the joy of that truth because they know that their heart is not about pleasing people, but rather pleasing the Lord. When you think about prayer. And you ask the question, What should I pray? Because this is a beautiful prayer for your church, especially today. When you think about your family. Maybe your children in the future that they might be raised up in. You think of all the things that you could pray for your children? This is an incredible prayer to pray. God make their heart strong in your truth. So much so that Paul is saying at the end of this that he would gladly. We’re glad when we are weak and you are strong. Paul so much so believes in this prayer that he is willing to take the form of a continued servant on their behalf, that the strength and truth of who God is would be made known in their life. It says in the second half of verse nine. The second part of this prayer.

Not only that, they they walk in the truth, but he says that your restoration is what we pray for. This idea of restoration. It’s it’s not a wrong translation. I think it does carry a light of where Paul has been with the church. I mean, there’s been a lot of conflict in this church, and they’ve they’ve walked contrary to God’s truth. And he he wants to see them restored, certainly. But the Greek word here also has this continuation of more than just simply the restoration of what’s been wrong, but that their life would continue to pursue God in truth and rather rather than just simply restoration. It also carries the idea of being complete, being adequate, being fully qualified, being being sufficient. God that not only do they do they know the truth, but their life be complete. And walking in this all of the days of their life. Perhaps an English word that best aligns with this would be the idea of integrity. The word integrity is defined this way as one whose thoughts a person of integrity is defined this way. It’s one whose thoughts, beliefs, words and actions are all in perfect harmony. As believers, we would say in submission to the truth of God’s Word with nothing inconsistent. Paul’s prayers continue to echo with this aim throughout Scripture. For example, in Galatians four, verse 19, my children with whom I am again in Labor until Christ is formed in you.

Colossians one, 28, proclaiming Christ, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom so that they that we may present every man complete in Christ and again in Colossians four, 12, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God. Pulsing. In fact, if I were just to summarize this letter in verse ten, he says, For this reason, I write these things. You want to know what Second Corinthians is about? It’s the seed Christ formed in you. That is. That is my heart’s desire. That is my prayer. As I think about God’s community, as Paul saying this to the Church of Corinth, for this reason I write these things to see this while I am always from you, while I’m away from you. Excuse me that when I come, I may not have to be severe in my use of the authority that the Lord has given me. For building up. And not for tearing down. One of the beautiful things I think I just shared with you here in the beginning is when Paul does. End up in Corinth with the church. There’s only indication that the body of believers did turn their hearts to the Lord. Because when Paul writes the book of Romans, he ends with Romans by referencing believers from Corinth, wishing and desiring the best for the church that is in Rome. If you want one great prayer in Scripture.

One prayer that just transcends the difficulty of circumstance, but prepares the heart no matter the situation it’s in. It’s right here with the way the poll ends. The book of. Corinthians. But they wouldn’t know the truth. And walk in the maturity of that all of their days. I just think if there’s just one consistent, beautiful prayer that you could pray over your children every night. As God’s giving you the responsibility to direct that hard won one beautiful prayer that you could pray over your spouse. Over your friends. Of your family. They may know the truth. And walk completed all the days of their life. Not only does Paul then. Talk about prayer. He he ends this book by talking about maintaining a godly perspective. Maintaining a godly perspective. And this is important because sometimes we get so distraught over the battles that we face that we fail to put perspective on the fact that we as believers have already won the war. We as Christians, though, though it is true that we’ve won the war, we don’t get to control everything in life. In fact, because we walk in a broken world, sometimes the things that we experience that we we we walk through these tensions in life that that we can always resolve every difficulty that we we go through. And sometimes because we go through those tensions, they they can capture our hearts and our minds and we start to lose perspective of the greater thing which God has called us to, because we want to control a situation so much so that we can’t let go of it.

And we just sit in that and and it starts to control us. But but, Paul, in these moments, just he takes that step backwards and just reminds us that as we have won the war, as believers, we’re going to experience battles. And in those battles there are these tensions because they’re not always resolved. And but there’s a way that we can approach those those tensions that we can’t always reconcile, that we can leave them at a place to sort of put them on a shelf. And if God works something there, that we can come back to them and see the Lord mend those things. But there are tensions. Paul doesn’t want the church to lose focus from what God has ultimately called them to do in moving forward. You can’t control everything. But you can control how you respond to it. Not every relationship that you have in this world experiences reconciliation. But God does call his people to be forgiving. And when we’re forgiving, or at least we open the door for forgiveness. When someone responds repentant, we then. Then there is this place of reconciliation. But you can’t dictate that reconciliation. All that you can do in this world is recognize because of relationships. There will be there will be these places of tension because they’re not always resolved.

And you can control who you are, but you can’t always control what happens and the way people respond. So so you live in light of what God has called you to be because you realize that you’ve won the war and you don’t have to manipulate the way every circumstance goes. And this is how Paul approaches this these final moments when he says this to the church and verse 11, he starts here, he says, Finally, brothers. Rejoice. Rejoice. It’s as if to say here at the end of this letter, we have focused very specifically on the problem and we’ve talked about the problem, and we’ve opened opportunity for reconciliation in the problem. But we can’t dictate how this is going to go because we’re not always in control. There’s two people that are involved here, right? Two groups. But can I remind your heart in this moment? Could you just take a step back to rather than looking into the weeds, just get that 30,000 foot view of all that God has accomplished and is going to continue to accomplish in you. Because when your perspective goes to this place, your your heart is able to rejoice. In Scripture, there are many warning passages. And I think part of the reason that the Lord has allowed warning passages to exist in Scripture is sometimes they can difficult circumstances can can catch us off guard.

And we become discouraged. When we become discouraged, we become disoriented. And we lose sight of who we are and what God has called us to in this world, in fact, and and the persecution of the church. And first, Peter, chapter four, verse 12, to Peter writes to the church. Do not be surprised by the trouble you’re experiencing. First John, chapter three, verse 13. John says the same thing to the church. Do not be surprised by this. Don’t let this captivate your heart so much that in the discouragement you lose sight of what you ultimately have in Jesus. Because this. This can take you off course. You can’t control everything there. There are tensions in life. And and you don’t have to be dogmatic about those tensions. Just put them on a shelf. The Lord may do something with them later, but don’t lose sight of what God has ultimately called you to in this world. And the way that our heart reminds itself of what we have in the Lord is this idea of rejoicing or rejoicing. When Jesus was was. Being crucified. The Gospel of John. Those final moments he spent with his disciple disciples in John 13 to John 17, after he declared to him to them that he he was dying. They certainly felt defeated. But do you know the theme? How Jesus expressed to his disciples in those chapters. Jesus is facing death. And he begins to teach his disciples some of the most intimate teachings in those chapters and, you know, the theme of those chapters.

Joy. Joy. Out of all the subjects Jesus could have chose as he was about to go to the cross. I mean, he’s either crazy or incredible, right? I mean, you think about the end of your life. Out of all the last speeches that you could give, what would be the primary thing that you would focus on? And Jesus for Jesus. It’s joy. He says these things. I have spoken to you, he told the apostles gathered in the upper room. So that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be made fool. John, 15, verse 11. And then he promised them, I will see you again. And your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. John, 16, verse 22 And he asked the father that is that his followers and John, 17, verse 3013, may have his joy made fool in themselves. The joy of the Lord. Christian Joy is not at giddy, superficial happiness that can be devastated by illness or economic difficulty or broken relationships or countless other disappointments in life. Instead, it flows from a deep, unshakeable confidence that God is eternally in control for his beloved children. And it’s a confidence rooted in the knowledge of his word based on the promises that he delivers to us. Rejoicing. Rejoicing while you have the tensions in your life.

It’s this stepping away from that perspective in those weeds to just take a step back and remind your soul of what you have in Christ. The promise of his presence, the power of the Lord with you both now and for all of eternity, you have been forgiven. You have been made new as a creation. It’s not about impressing the world and your strength, but rather, as Paul has taught us in your weakness, finding the strength of God no matter where you are. He’s with you. Re joy. And the truths of God. Don’t be surprised by the trouble of this world. But remind your heart that he is with you. That when you face adversity. God’s heart grieves in that, too. That’s. That’s why Jesus came. Jesus came to make all things new. That God is for you and that God is with you. And it’s on the backdrop of that rejoicing, then, that He gives the basis for these words that follow Paul. Paul gives us these five thoughts at the end of Second Corinthians to help our hearts to reorient itself with a godly perspective, despite the circumstances that we’re going through. And Paul is saying to the church, Look, Corinth, I’m sharing my heart with you. And not not everyone’s going to agree with this. Not every heart’s going to align with this. But for those who who have been called out that want to pursue Christ and community together, we can’t lose sight of the greater picture of what Jesus wants to accomplish in you.

Waiting on everything, waiting on everyone. Sometimes in life there’s a tension and you’ve got to just put it, put it on the shelf and let the Lord deal with that in his own timing. The hearts can always turn around. We don’t have to be dogmatic and just push it away forever. We don’t have to force the change in it. But you can control who you are. Rejoice. And then he goes on from there and he says, this aim for aim for restoration. This means mend your ways, be mature. Focus on who got his calls to be comfort. One another means be encouraged in the Lord and what God has designed you to do as a community. Agree with one another means being of the same mind. Doesn’t mean you have to agree in everything. But it does mean to be purposeful, which God has called us to in the end, and live in peace. Help us to enjoy this journey as our as our focus remains fixed towards this. As a church, we get to enjoy this and peace with one another. And then the result of that, he gives us this thought. And the god of love and peace will be with you. We experienced the goodness of God. As we experience the beauty of what God desires to do in a synthesis his community.

And then he gives us these interesting words here at the end. He says in verse 12. Greet one another with a holy kiss. We’ll practice that here at the end. I’m just kidding. I wouldn’t do that. And all the saints greet you the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Be with you all. The end of this letter. Letter? I love it. You see them moving forward in the way that he is describing? The outward expression of moving forward is through this weird thing called a holy kiss and the saints greeting each other and the and the grace of God being made known in their midst. And what he’s saying is, as you put on these things in verse 11. Start to demonstrate it in your community. The idea of a holy kiss. Obviously we would label that more of as a cultural thing that we don’t do here in America. It would probably better read fist bump or something like that. I don’t know. Handshake and a hug, whatever. Whatever is best in the greeting of one another. But. But what it’s expressing. Is a community that cares about each other, a community that’s for one another, and a community that’s living in pursuit of what God has called them to together. That’s what you’re seeing in verse 12 and 13. And as he shares this with us, what he’s also saying is there is a God who is working in our midst, our midst to.

And verse 14, notice at the very end, he involves the trinity of God working on our behalf. You see the the grace of Christ and the love of the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Moving on our behalf. And I love at the end, he gives this this Trinitarian benediction. Why? Where’s this famous quote? I know I usually share stories at the end of our time together, but I don’t really have one about this guy. This guy, Alexander McLaren, he he was a pastor in the 1800s, and he was just faithful to Jesus all of his life. That’s all you need to know about him. But. But this is a quote that he said at one point in his life. He says, Peace comes not from the absence of trouble. To have that sort of expectation is ridiculous. And no matter what path you follow in life, you can rest assured there will be trouble with Jesus or without Jesus. You’re going to experience trouble. Peace comes not from the absence of trouble. But from the presence of God. Our pursuit in life is not just to simply. Experience, no trouble. That is an impossibility. But to recognize in the Lord there can come a peace. As we go through difficulty. And it’s not because every circumstance is under our control.

But it’s because we have a healthy perspective of who we are in light of God. And we know at the end we win the battle and in the moment His presence is with us to strengthen us for the journey. The Lord is the one who gives us the power of His presence to cope. And the ability to hope beyond life’s struggles. Can I tell you, church if you’re going through a difficult time. Sometimes I know we get to those places and we ask the question, God, where are you? But can I tell you the cross of Christ screams. I’m right here with you. I’m right here with you. The adversity we face in life is not contrary to Jesus. Jesus is. Heart grieves in the difficulty of this world and the sin that it brings. That’s why Jesus is. That’s why Jesus came. Your heart is not warring against God when you experience adversity. But your heart screams out for justice, just like Jesus. And no matter what we go through in this world, one of the beautiful things that we can be reminded of is the opportunity we have to pray to connect to God and ask Him to give us the strength to not only know the truth, but to to walk in that truth. And to live it for his glory. And reminding ourselves that while we can’t solve every tension. We can rejoice in a God who is always with us.

2nd Corinthians 13:1-6

Romans 1, part 1