Our devotion today is “Intercessory Suffering” and my text is found in II Corinthians 1:3-6, where we read, “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.” (KJV) Here, Paul is writing about suffering “for your consolation (or comfort and rejoicing) and salvation (or deliverance and rescue).”
From vs. 3 we learn that we can bless the Lord as we suffer in an intercessory way. Be sure that our flesh won’t bless the Lord. Instead, our flesh will get angry and bitter if we fail because of refusing the enabling grace of God. In vs. 4, we learn that we are to let the Lord “comfort” or encourage us as we suffer. As we suffer in an intercessory manner, we will not know “why” or the purpose and the “why question” may not be answered for years to come. But as we suffer allowing our Lord to minister grace to our heart and painful circumstances, we can bear it patiently. It is in vs. 5-6 that we find out the purpose for intercessory suffering, as we see, “it is for your consolation and salvation.” I believe that our God is the God of order and purpose and as He brings light to our times of suffering, He then, allows our path to cross with others who are going through suffering like we have been and then we get to be the help to others that God designed for us to be. God help us to remain faithful in the midst of suffering.
Pastor Joey Durham