make room in your hearts for us. we have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage of no one.  i do not say this to condemn you, for i said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together.  i am acting with great boldness toward you; i have great pride in you; i am filled with comfort. in all our affliction, i am overflowing with joy.  for even when we came into macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn—fighting without and fear within.  but God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of titus,  and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that i rejoiced still more.  for even if i made you grieve with my letter, i do not regret it—though i did regret it, for i see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while.  as it is, i rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. for you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.  for godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. [2 corinthians 7:2-10]
what a passage. so rich. so full. so full of God’s love for us in Christ through his people. over the next 7 to 8 days we will unpack this passage and mine all the riches God has here for us.
one word of caution – don’t miss God’s presence, as he unveils his truths.
God is going to encourage us to: open our “hearts wide” for each other, to “live and die” together, and to invest deeply so godly “pride” in God’s work is felt in another. he is going to tell us we can taste real “comfort” and real “joy” through God’s people, in the midst of “affliction”, if we will offer our lives up to his service. however, and this is a big however – none of these things happen without the presence of God WHO is: the Encourager, the Life, the Transformer, the Comforter, and the Joy.
God alone fills us to the full. God alone satisfies so we are full, lacking nothing. do you believe this? do you believe him?
in your presence there is fullness of joy [ps 16:11]
these things i have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. [john 15:11]
ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. [john 16:24]
these things i speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves [john 17:13]
that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. [eph 3:19]
two reminders today. two things to plead before the throne of God.
- ask God to make you aware of his presence in all his power and beauty as you sit in his word. please, enjoy the word of God! mine deep, dive deep, explore, beg, and ask for revelation from his Spirit. but remember, his Spirit is with you making all these truths come alive.
- God often uses his body to make his presence powerfully and beautifully known. please, ask God who you can pursue today who needs to know God is with them. please, ask God who you can join today in pursuing God’s presence. you need this encouragement as well. please, ask God to remind you that gospel community where God’s presence is known in power and beauty has to be built, has to be fought for. ask God for the courage and endurance to fight for this. community is worth it! he is worth it!
~ john ryan