Doing God’s Work in a Storm of Emotions – 6-9-22

“For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 2:17 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Second Corinthians chapter 2 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

Greeting

Paul Urges Forgiveness

But I determined this within myself, that I would not come again to you in sorrow. For if I make you sorrowful, then who is he who makes me glad but the one who is made sorrowful by me?

Forgive the Offender

And I wrote this very thing to you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow over those from whom I ought to have joy, having confidence in you all that my joy is the joy of you all. For out of much [a]affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you.

But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent—not to be too severe. This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man, so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. 10 Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For [b]if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, 11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Triumph in Christ

12 Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a [c]door was opened to me by the Lord, 13 I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I departed for Macedonia.

14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us [d]diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, as [e]so many, peddling[f] the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Corinthians 2:4 tribulation
  2. 2 Corinthians 2:10 NU indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes
  3. 2 Corinthians 2:12 Opportunity
  4. 2 Corinthians 2:14 manifests
  5. 2 Corinthians 2:17 M the rest
  6. 2 Corinthians 2:17 adulterating for gain

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Acts 4:12- “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

When western men and women are hurt, we do not speak as eloquently as Paul. Actually we pretty much say we are mad and that is it. Women, more than men, in general try to express why they are mad – but really they are more wounded than mad.
God is a relational God – Paul is a relational man – and we are also made relational. But it is awkward and uncomfortable listing to people who hurt spout off, and here they aren’t really saying what they feel and placing blame instead of expressing feeling.  Especially those who live in that ‘woke’ lifestyle. They hold their own proverbial gun to their own head while ‘feeling’ like a victim and blaming someone who isn’t even in the room. And if that is discussing feelings most people are going to pass.

I am sad for Paul that he had to feel hurt and betrayed by the church HE founded. I have gone through the feelings of hurt and betrayal. It is not fun. (But like a good American, I am not here to talk about that.) But what I do want to discuss is how we find feeling and emotions expressed in a healthy way – grieved IN GOD, who heals Paul slowly throughout the process.
At the same point it would seem there is another they have hurt and Paul speaks on behalf of that other. Some say Paul is speaking of himself in 3rd person, others say there is another – and with all the speculation around this book I believe there was forgiveness and restoration and God spared all involved from an eternal written reminder of this pain, while keeping only the pieces that you and I can benefit from.

But I determined this within myself, that I would not come again to you in sorrow. For if I make you sorrowful, then who is he who makes me glad but the one who is made sorrowful by me?”

Paul shows us how we should take it to God and talk to the people. Sometimes, it is impossible. So we keep talking to God. Sometimes we must wait for the hurt and sorrow to be worked through individually.

And I wrote this very thing to you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow over those from whom I ought to have joy, having confidence in you all that my joy is the joy of you all.”

Paul is feeling very paternal. Every parent of a teen or older knows these feelings to some degree. They are our joy. Like when they were toddlers and they’d see us smile big at the sight of them and they would take that joy and smile bigger and come running for a hug.

For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you.”

And everything we do to try to show our love only makes it worse. None of us want anyone to feel this way. We have all felt it, so God put a pen in Paul’s hand as he was going through it so that as God helps Paul, God can help us.

But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent—not to be too severe. This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man, so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow.”

The world is now teaching when we are upset – we should feel it through. This is Biblical. The world tells us it is ok to wrap yourself in a comfy and eat chocolate until you feel better. They call it self-care. I call it wallowing and making yourself and offering to the spirit of depression, grief and whatever else wants to come in while you appease the flesh.
The Bible teaches that we feel it, but until it is sufficient and that forgiveness and comfort should come before a man is swallowed up.  There are plenty of people who attacked me repeatedly and I had to stop speaking with them to protect myself. I love and ray for them daily. They say they are believers and they know they did evil by me, but instead of bringing comfort and forgiveness, they throw curses at me. No really. We have studied words and their spiritual meanings. So if someone prays daily that my business will fail unless I do something their way – it is a curse. I fast and pray for it to be broken. I must life my own salvation out in the eyes of God not man – with fear of God not the curses of man.
So as a sidebar – although not really, because we do not see Paul doing it, so we shouldn’t – Do not pray for people to do things or something bad will happen. I once heard someone pray that someone, who is not saved, will honor God in a business transaction or God will take all their money, they’ll be demoted, and even lose their job. Well I prayed to break that curse because God is not honored in it. God will do things HIS way and not our way. You cannot manipulate God. Also you cannot manipulated people – it is a type of witchcraft. As men and women of God we are to bless them. While praying against that curse – I blessed them. They did lose their job. Then they found a new job at double the salary. They still do not honor God in their business and they are still not saved. But they are learning we have a loving, forgiving and steadfast God – which is opposite of anything they have experienced on Earth at the hands of the enemy and sinful man. And we all know, it is God’s love that draws us to Him.

If God is who He says He is – then only in hatred for someone would we ever wish the wrath of God upon them. If we really believe this and understand it – God loves our human enemies too and wants to save them. You do not know which one might turn into another Paul saving thousands and starting churches. The answer is not in manipulation or curses – it is in forgiveness and comfort. Of course I have already forgiven those who hurt and betrayed me, and I have repeatedly.

Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things.”

God (and Paul) sometimes ask us to do difficult things. It is difficult to show love in the midst of hurt. But God commands it and so does Paul – Paul says it is a test of our obedience.

10 Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, 11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Do not give room to the devil. Do not give him space in which to move. Do not offer him our hurting, or our own pain. Do not give him our insecurity, our vulnerabilities, or any area. We are protected to be in pain and insecure and vulnerable IN HIM, in God. But if we wallow in it. If love, forgiveness and comfort never come or are rejected – then you have given room to the enemy.

Paul goes from his own heartache to another’s heartache and then He seemingly changes the subject to talk about Troas and then a triumph in Christ and saying he is not peddling false teachings.
The readers would not see this as jumping around as these smaller topics are all part of the bigger issue that lead to all the hurt. Paul was late coming because he fled to Troas instead of staying where people were trying to kill him and waiting for a ship so he could sail to Corinth. Another issue was the church at Corinth were comparing Paul to other evangelists and even to false teachers. Paul came in love, humility and meekness, asking nothing of them and only giving. While other had to be paid to come speak.

So in the middle of Paul’s instructions to love and forgive, because it was the will of the Lord – He talks about another time that he was in the will of the Lord, doing the Lord’s work and there was a victory! I suppose Paul is reminding them to get back to the Lord’s business – be kingdom minded.

12 Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord, 13 I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I departed for Macedonia.”
But even in the victory he was sorrowful and missed Titus. It is very possible that Titus is the one who was hurt that they are speaking of. But again, with how vague this book is about the ‘who, what, when, where, and why’ – we must focus on the solutions Paul presents and apply it to our divisions and pains.

14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.”

If not yet, it will happen. In the midst of people being people and hurting each other and talking bad and accusing, and people accusing back instead of forgiving, and all of this emotional distraction – you will STILL have to continue to do the work of the Lord. And even with all this sadness around you – you will need the joy of the Lord as your strength (Nehemiah 8:10 – another guy who had no reason for joy, except that he needed strength) and you’ll need to stay Kingdom focused. Yes – even people, the very objective of your task from Christ can act as a distraction from staying laser focused on the Kingdom mission.

15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?”

I’ll tell you – in my own hurt, while trying to do the will of God: There is a sweet aroma of life. It is like breaking open your alabaster box and anointing the Lord. It is one of the great sacrifices. Many ministries and men/women of God have fallen just before they were able to smell it. They succumbed to the pain and hurt – the restoration is too great for human eyes. We need God’s plan and ways which are not ours. IN HIM nothing is impossible.

The end of verse 16 is interesting – who is sufficient for these things? The word in Greek can translate to sufficient, but also it can also mean: qualified, competent, ample or fit.
Let’s look at the verse in the Amplified Classic Version of the Bible:
to the latter one an aroma from death to death [a fatal, offensive odor], but to the other an aroma from life to life [a vital fragrance, living and fresh]. And who is adequate and sufficiently qualified for these things?”
Through this work – God himself reveals and qualifies at the same point. We are NOT sufficient or qualified to give the aroma of life, we are under a curse and evil people – yet God calls our faith our righteousness and in this process we are given such rich meat.

17 For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.”

And here is the key to this triumph and victory – when we obey and serve the Lord are we doing it knowing we are doing it in His sight and will answer for it? Or are we in the business of making money, peddling the word of God.
I hope you all are mature enough to know the difference between someone serving God and running a church business. Although both are running a business, one serves God and one serves money. I think I told you of the time I attended a church that was in the business of being a church, they pleased people so people would give. If you are serving God then the offering part of the service is a great worship to God. There is no better way to come to the Lord than to come with offerings in your hands, bringing Him your best in worship. The business happens because God designed it. Serve God first.

If you are going through the storm of emotional thing, like Paul – keep going. Do not harden your heart. Let God heal you and even qualify you during this time. Grow in God – even if man doesn’t want reconciliation.
This storm is really like all of the storms – Jesus is near, walking on the water, in the midst of the storm. You may not see Him because your storm is so great. But you are safe. He is there. And you will be forever changed by deep revelation of who He is – if you continue in the storm to the other side. Do not get distracted and do not walk away. If you need prayer support – you can always leave prayer requests in the comments. I pray for everyone reading this every day – I do not want any of you washed away in the storm of emotions.

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

3 Replies to “Doing God’s Work in a Storm of Emotions – 6-9-22”

  1. I found your comment about curses very interesting! I’ve never thought about the fact of someone insisting on another doing something a certain way or hoping for the other person’s failure to be a curse.

    Like

    1. Sadly we forget the power of our words – Jesus is the Word, all was created by words, and the enemy is struct down by the word (aka our sword). Jesus tells us to pay attention to our every idol word:
      “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” Matthew 12:36
      And this is a timeless concept – back in Deuteronomy we have the passages of the blessings and curses and it also instructs us to bless and not curse. Luckily curses can be broken and assignments from the enemy squashed – but some spiritual battles can only be won through serious prayer and fasting and a lot of speaking the truth – the word – JESUS! into the situations.
      Be blessed – and may God help us guard our mouths and help us be intentional in our speaking. – amen

      Like

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