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God, the Source and Center View video
2 Corinthians 1:1 - 1:11
1. Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God in Corinth, together with all the saints throughout Achaia:
2. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
4. who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
5. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
6. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.
7. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
8. We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.
9. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.
10. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us,
11. as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
It Starts with God (1:1–7)
The opening sentences of Paul’s letter shine a spotlight on the fact that God is both the source and center of every aspect of our faith journey. Paul is an apostle by God’s will; the church in Corinth is God’s church. The grace, peace, and comfort that all believers experience ultimately come from God, and all praise and glory will return to God. God is the main character of all of our stories, not us. With this in mind it becomes essential for us to never lose sight of the fact that everything we do must align with God’s heart for His people and mission. May our greatest priority be to see His name exalted in all things.

Our Prayers, God’s Power (1:8–11)
The power of God to deliver us is most clearly revealed in circumstances that seem tragic. Paul has come to know the saving power of God through the many hardships he has endured, which took him to the limits of his own abilities and taught him to rely on God rather than himself. But God also worked in tandem with those who interceded through prayer on Paul’s behalf. There is a special and mysterious relationship between our prayers and God’s action. While God can surely act without our prayers, He invites us to pray to participate in His work. Let us be diligent and fervent in prayer as we trust God to move powerfully.
- How is God the main character in your life story? How can you better align your life with God’s will?

- Why do you believe God allows us to endure hardship? How can our faith be strengthened by them?
A Letter to God
Heavenly Father, I am humbled when I consider just how incredible You are! By Your power, You have brought the entire universe into existence, and still consider me! Help me align my life with Your will and purpose. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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