I Am Who I Am, Part 5: God Is Our Comfort (06.08.20)
A Study & Practice Guide on the Biblical Names & Characteristics of God
This guide does not directly engage with Sunday teaching, but we do look for thematic connections to help keep the CG Practices in alignment.
After greeting one another, take 2-3 minutes of silence to invite the Holy Spirit to be present and help you be aware of what you’re bringing into this time together.
Set a timer for 1 minute per person to check in and answer these two questions:
- What would you like the group to know about your past week?
- What does the word comfort mean to you? When was a time someone comforted you well?
Read Scripture Aloud
Ask one or more people in your group to read 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 aloud. We encourage you to use a physical Bible if possible. As you listen and follow along, silently observe anything that stands out to you.
Cultural & Historical Context at a Glance
Ask one person to read this brief summary of historical and cultural context for this passage:
- 2 Corinthians is one of Paul’s many letters to the church in Corinth. He’s writing to them from Macedonia, about a year or two after he writes the letter we know as 1 Corinthians.
- Paul’s writing this letter to encourage the members of the Corinthian church to live in accordance with the Gospel.
- He touches on many themes in this letter, but pays specific attention to endurance amidst suffering and how God is present in our affliction.
- The Greek word for comfort in this passage is paraklēsis, which can be defined as “consolation, comfort, solace; that which affords comfort or refreshment” (Blue Letter Bible).
Before interpreting the message for how it applies to us today, take 15-20 minutes to make some simple observations of the text in light of the cultural/historical context above or other things you know. Here are a few questions you might jump off from:
- What is happening?
- Who is involved? What do we know about them?
- What are some distinct words or phrases in the passage that stand out to you?
- What other verses in the Bible does this passage echo?
Interpreting the Message
In light of your observations, discuss the message of these passage for 20-30 minutes.
- What message do you believe the God’s people would have received from this text?
- What does the passage have to say about who God is and who He is not in this passage?
- What further questions do you have to explore with God after studying this passage?
Living in Biblical Truth
After interpreting the message of the text together and what it reveals about God, consider the implications of this truth for your life. Share with one another for 15-20 minutes:
- In what way has your understanding of God been deepened, expanded, challenged, or refined?
- What would it look like to live into the message of this text in your life? How about in the life of your CG? Your home and workplace?
Have one person read the following text from the book of Isaiah:
Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;
break forth, O mountains, into singing!
For the LORD has comforted his people
and will have compassion on his afflicted.
But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me;
my Lord has forgotten me.”
“Can a woman forget her nursing child,
that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me.”
After reading the passage, pray for your group, our church, our city, and our world.
Do you have any lingering questions or thoughts about this practice guide series? You can offer them on this form here.