Our Daily Bread Devotional For December 22, 2022 : Topic – Bending Low
Bible in a Year:
The Father of compassion and the God of all comfort . . . comforts us in all our troubles.
Today’s Scripture : 2 Corinthians 1:3–11
In 2 Corinthians 1:3–7, the Greek noun and verb (paraklēsis and parakaleō) meaning “comfort” or “encouragement/encourage” occur ten times in only five verses! Emphasizing that God is the “Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” (v. 3), Paul invites believers in Jesus to share in the suffering of those who spread the gospel (vv. 5–6) as well as the comfort and encouragement that “abounds through Christ” (v. 5). Paul confessed that it was intense suffering that taught him and his coworkers to “not rely on [themselves] but on God, who raises the dead” (v. 9).
By: Monica La Rose
Message : A young mom followed behind her daughter, who pedaled her tiny bike as fast as her little legs could go. But picking up more speed than she wanted, the little girl suddenly rolled off the bike and cried that her ankle hurt. Her mom quietly got down on her knees, bent down low, and kissed it to “make the pain go away.” And it worked! The little girl jumped up, climbed back on her bike, and pedaled on. Don’t you wish all our pains could go away that easily!
The apostle Paul experienced the comfort of God in his continual struggles yet kept going. He listed some of those trials in 2 Corinthians 11:23–29: floggings, beatings, stonings, sleep deprivation, hunger, concerns for all the churches. He learned intimately that God is “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” (1:3) or as another version translates it: “He is the Father who gives tender love” (nirv). Much like a mom comforting her child, God bends down low to tenderly care for us in our pain.
God’s loving ways of comforting us are many and varied. He may give us a Scripture verse that encourages us to continue on, or He may have someone send a special note or prompt a friend to give us a call that touches our spirit. While the struggle may not go away, because God bends down low to help us, we can get up and pedal on.
Reflect & Pray
In what ways has God comforted you? How can you be a comfort to others because of that?
Father of compassion, come near to me and hold me in Your arms where I can find rest and encouragement.
For further study, read Compassion: When Jesus Asks for More than We Have .