June 17, 2013

Walk in Love: Bears All Things
1 Corinthians 13:7
   Love bears all things…
LOVE bears all things so WALK bearing burdens and building up.
Bears – bastazo – to take up with the hands in order to carry or bear; to uphold, to support, to give slack to.
Burdens – baros – heaviness, weight, burden, trouble.
Build Up – oikodomeo – to confirm, to edify, to promote growth.
Life hurts sometimes.  We all face times of loss, disappointment, hardship, discouragement and doubt.  
Take a look at how Paul describes his situation in his letter to the Corinthians:
2 Corinthians 1:8-9
For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death.
Can you relate to any of these?  Burdened beyond your strength? Despair?
But if you read, on Paul gives us a proper perspective to adopt in the midst of being burdened and in times of hardship:
2 Corinthians 1:9-10
But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.
We have hope! Because as painful or uncomfortable as these situations may be, they serve to teach us to rely on God.  And we read that God deliveredwill deliver and will deliver us again!  That’s good news!
But what is interesting in this verse is that my idea of deliverance from something painful or difficult is different from what is promised in this verse.  The word for deliver in the original language is rhyomai,which means to draw to one’s self, to rescue. I often want the deliverance to be out of or the end to a circumstance.  But God delivers by drawing me to Himself. He is my place of refuge, security, hope, peace and joy in the midst!  Because…He IS hopeHe IS peace.  He IS joy.  He IS steadfast and immovable.  He IS the true source of these things in my life and they are not dependent upon my circumstances.
AND we need each other in these difficult times in our lives. Read what we are told at the beginning of
 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 …
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
This love-walk involves bearing burdens andencouraging others as they walk through times of hardship, burden and difficulty.  In fact, the wordcomfort used in 2 Corinthians is paraklesis, which means a calling near, to encourage, console, comfort. We comfort as we come alongside to encourage through a listening ear, a word of Truth, a hug, a prayer, a helping hand, a shoulder to cry on and a heart that sympathizes instead of judges.
Galatians 6:2
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
We show love by bearing with others, by coming alongside and comforting them in their time of brokenness, disappointment or hardship.
Romans 14:13
Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.
We show love by bearing with others who are struggling in life, with their faith or with sin.  Not to pass judgment but, in love, to point them to truth and come alongside and bear their burden.
All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. 
-2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (The Message)
Is there someone Christ is calling you encourage, come alongside and comfort today?  


Women’s Bible Study Teacher
This post first appeared on the blog, susancady.com, ©2013