IT’S NOT JUST about you. When was the last time you said those words? Maybe it was to a friend, a character in a movie, or to yourself. Think about that situation. What prompted you to remind yourself (or someone else) that it wasn’t just about them?
Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-7. What stands out to you about verse 4?
According to these verses, why might times of trial not just be about you?
How can your trials and hard times help other people?
How have you seen this truth play out in your life or someone else’s life?
During your trials, do you look for ways to use them to help others?
Is it selfish to keep what you have learned from trials to yourself? Explain.
Are you willing to suffer so others will not have to? Why or why not?
If the goal of the Christian life is to become more like Christ (which it is), then we must also face trials. Jesus did. He endured various trials, temptations, and hard times, even the cross. Yet, it was for the benefit of others. Because of His willingness to endure those trials, we have salvation and forgiveness. We also have the assurance that because Jesus was here and faced tough times, He knows how we feel. He understands us.
A key point of Paul’s words in today’s passage is that the trials we face aren’t necessarily just about us. Instead, the things we learn can help us reach out to others and minister to them—all because of what we’ve learned during the tough times.
In a Little While
Read This Passage: 2 Corinthians 5:1-10
For we walk by faith, not by sight—yet we are confident and satisfied to be out of the body and at home with the Lord. —2 Corinthians 5:7-8
WHEN OUR BOYS were younger, we camped quite often. We had a tent and would pack up all we needed to enjoy the great outdoors. After a few days of chiggers, paper plates, and sleeping on the ground, home usually started to look pretty good.
After several years of camping, our tent began to show signs of wear. There were a few patches, a stuck zipper, a torn window flap, warping or broken poles, and a musty odor. Our tent was generally just worn out!
Tents are nice for camping and you probably got to experience one this past summer, but they are not intended to be a permanent home. Today’s Scripture begins by calling our bodies tents. Much like a camping tent, our bodies experience a lot of wear and tear, and as we age, they eventually get worn out. God’s plan for our lives is not for us to remain in these bodies. They are temporary “tents” until He takes us to our permanent home in heaven.
As I am writing this, a dear friend is attending the funeral of her 5-year-old granddaughter. For the past two years and nine months, many people have prayed that God would heal her, and a few days ago, He did!
Rather than just putting another patch on her worn-out tent, God let her move to her new home with Him.
Perhaps you’ve asked God for a miracle, and someone still died. It is a miracle when God gives us ways to patch our earthly tents so we will last a little longer. It is an even greater miracle, though, when we move to heaven and God gives us our eternal body that will never wear out.
Camping is fun but only temporary. Life is eternal.
Sometimes people are afraid to talk to others about death because they don’t know what to say. If you know someone who is hurting or mourning over a loss, go to them and simply listen and pray with them.
For more information about your new body, read 1 Corinthians 15:35-57.
Father, thank You that death is not final because You offer eternal life. Give me opportunities and courage to share Your hope with those who are experiencing grief and loss.