Response to Writer’s Devotional, pg. 189 – Writing through the hurts…
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”
(2 Corinthians 1:3,4, NIV)
This has been an interesting devotional by Melody Rondeau, in which the emphasis is on our times of pain, and on the question, “How can I write encouraging things in times of pain?” Also, emphasis is given to the fact that these “low” times are times of preparation and of discovery of God, Himself.
The response is to be started with the phrase, “Heavenly Father, I sense now is the time…”
Truthfully, I would like to respond to the most profound thing written in this devotion, and that is the first half of the above scripture.
Many times I have remembered and quoted this scripture, and always the emphasis has been on the latter part of the scripture, “so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”
However, I was struck this morning by the first part of this scripture, knowing that I have read it many times, and wondering if I have ever really seen it before. Has it ever leapt off the page at me the way it did this morning? If so, how is it that I have forgotten it?
As I checked my own Bible to see if I have made any of my usual markings in it, even a date that would suggest a time of impact, I realize that this is a different translation, and the wording is quite different. Yes, I have highlighted, underlined, dated, and commented on this scripture many times. Yet, the wording here does change the emphasis considerably.
In my own translation, NKJV, the first part says, “3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, …”
In the above translation, NIV, the first part says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all our troubles, …”
Heavenly Father, I sense now is the time for me to see with new eyes this familiar scripture, one which I love and am comforted by. I sense that this time, I am to see something of You, Yourself and of Your own nature.
The change I see in this verse and the way that it is worded, is that in the NIV translation You are named as the God of all our troubles, and that is greatly comforting to me.
On the one hand, You are mentioned as the God who comforts us in all our tribulation, and on the other hand, You are mentioned as the God of all our troubles.
As comforting as it is to know You as the One who comforts us in all our troubles, and I know You are faithful for this, it is much more comforting to know You as the God of all our troubles.
In this thought, You are much more than comforter, You are controller, tempering the trouble to just the right degree, perhaps even orchestrating the trouble for my life, personalizing it, tailoring it to me, weaving it from the threads of my own choices and of all that comes my way.
To know You in this way, knowing that it is Your hand, and not some enemy who is the God of all my troubles, is too wonderful a thought.
I have often prayed, and I can remember now those many prayers sent up to You, asking of You that nothing could touch me from an enemy hand, but only that which is from Your own hand.
Praying, speaking to You that knowledge that any breaking and bending done by Your hand is good, and that You are perfect and have my best at heart. Asking that You will just make me aware, give me knowledge and understanding at the time needed.
That You will see to it that I will not resist the work of Your hand in my life, that I will sit under the pressure of Your good hand, trusting You to make it right, to make me right. Trusting You to not allow the enemy or man to break me or bend me. These do not have my best at heart, but You surely do. I can trust You to break me just right, to bend me perfectly, to apply the right amount of pressure and heat to mold me into Your image.
From earliest childhood I remember the old hymn,
Have Thine own way, Lord
Have Thine own way
Thou art the Potter
I am the clay
Mold me and make me
After Your will
While I am waiting
Yielded and still.
I loved that hymn then, and I love it more now. The words echoing Your word, etched in my heart, graven into me through life…the God of all our troubles. Praise be to God!
You are not just my God, but the God of the trouble. You alone are the God of the great fires of Southern California. You alone are the God of the wars, the earthquakes, the storms, the poverty, the trials of this life and those around me.
You are the God of the trouble, and You are my God. I will not be afraid in trouble, for You are the God of all our troubles, and I know You. I know Your name, I speak Your name, and I call on Your name. Better yet, You know my name!
And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own.
And the joy we share
As we tarry there
None other has ever known.
Most amazing transformation
As the God of all creation
Talks with me!
I love these songs as well.
In the Garden, that wonderful old hymn, and In His sanctuary, a wonderful contemporary song of my own generation.
All these songs proclaiming the same truth, You are the God of all creation, the God of all our troubles, and You walk with me and talk with me, knowing my name, and teaching me Yours.
I love You so. I trust You as the God of all my troubles. Forgive me when I fail to recognize or speak this truth. Forgive me for forgetting that You are the One in Who’s hand are all my troubles. Fill me to the fullest fullness of the faith, peace, joy and grace of knowing You in this way.
You will save me, because I have set my heart upon You and I know Your name. Thank You!
It is written that You have said, “I wound, and I heal, I kill, and I make alive… I know many who just can’t see You this way. For me, it is comforting to know that You love me so much that You will do what it takes to develop me into Your daughter, Your bride, the one who is to reflect Your light, and the fruit of Your Spirit.
How can that happen if I am not molded, fashioned and disciplined by my Father? How can I possibly develop if left on my own?
It is written: the one whom the Father loves, He chastens. You love me enough to not let me stay where I am. You love me enough to be more than my comforter, but also the God of my troubles. Letting me get knocked down and then picking me up, setting in motion my learning and developing, my growing, and my own ability to have compassion, which is mentioned in the latter part of the above scriptures.
If I am left to my own selfishness, how will I ever have compassion to extend to another? You love us too much to leave us without compassion for others, and from others. You love us too much to leave us here.
You love us too much to leave us.
Thank You, Papa!