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2 Corinthians 1

Thank You, Lord, that You love me like no other.

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You, Father, are my Source for ALL things:

FATHER OF COMPASSION (v 3) — You peer through the windows of my soul to see the needs and hopes deep inside me.  Your heart feels what I feel, identifying with all that I go through.

GOD OF ALL COMFORT (v 3) — You come alongside me with Your embrace, Your presence, Your encouragement.  You reach out Your hand, slip it under my chin, lift my head, so that my eyes can look into Yours … and as my Papa who loves me without end, You speak precious words that settle my spirit, calm my mind, and hold my heart near to Yours.  Not always do You provide protection from pain, but always You supply Your presence in every pain.

PATIENT ENDURANCE (v 6) — Both of those words look so LONG, like their nature personified in their letters!  Yet, in every step of each long haul of sticking it out without anxiety, YOU give wisdom and strength for me to remain steadfast.

NOT RELY ON OURSELVES BUT ON GOD (v 9) — YOU are the Friend on whom I can ALWAYS depend, Jesus!  You are consistent, more than capable, trustworthy … and You love me.  Thank You for the assurance of YOU … and knowing that I can always count on YOU!

GOD, WHO RAISES THE DEAD (V 9) — Into every life that has become Yours, You bring a resurrection: restoring once-dead or dying areas and breathing new life into withered souls.  When You find dying areas of my life, Lord, call me forth from the tomb and unwrap ALL my grave clothes, as You did for Lazarus.  Remake my attitudes, actions, and thoughts into life-inspiring ways like Your own.

HE WILL DELIVER US (v 10) — When I cry out in the midst of pain or trial, YOU are there, Father.  Your hand reaches out to rescue me or to keep me from falling into peril.  Thank You for being my Deliverer.

ON HIM WE HAVE SET OUR HOPE (v 10) — You alone, O Lord, are the strength of my heart.  There is NOTHING on earth that compares to YOU.  May my desires not focus on temporal, earthly things, but rather, may the eyes of my heart continually seek You, see You, and remain focused on You throughout all my days.

HOLINESS AND SINCERITY (v 12) — It’s You who sets me apart, making me holy, and who places a genuineness in me, so that others can see a true devotion to You in spite of my humanity.

ACCORDING TO GOD’S GRACE (v 12) — Thank You for giving me what I didn’t deserve.  Your free gift of grace has wiped my slate clean–no more sin.  That same grace carries me through this life in You as I endeavor to allow You to have all of me.

AS SURELY AS GOD IS FAITHFUL (v 18) — There is NONE like You — so faithful and true!  You follow me, You go before me; You are always at work in my life.

PROMISES GOD MADE ARE “YES” IN CHRIST (v 20) — You always fulfill Your promises, doing what You say You’ll do.  In Jesus, You carried out so MANY things You promised Your people over centuries!

IT IS GOD WHO MAKES … YOU STAND FIRM IN CHRIST (v 21) — You are my strength; You are my support, my defense, my refuge in the face of temptation from the enemy.  You uphold me always, simply because I belong to You.

ANOINTED US (v 21) — Just like when You’d have someone in the Old Testament times smear oil onto a person in an act of consecration, so You have done so with my heart.  You have set me aside for Your use.

SET HIS SEAL OF OWNERSHIP ON US (v 22) — You have chosen me.  You called me.  When I came to You, You accepted me and made me Your own.  You are my Master; keep me from allowing another to rule over me.

PUT HIS SPIRIT IN OUR HEARTS AS A DEPOSIT (v 22) — When Jesus left here to go be with You, Father, He said He’d send a comforter.  Indeed, Your Spirit did come, and He lives in the hearts of those of us who turn to You. Thank You for Your companionship in this life.  Thanks for the promise of one day being with You forever.  Meanwhile, during the time You leave me here, keep on making me just like Jesus.  Amen.

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