“The Father of mercy and God of all comfort… has delivered us from deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers.” (2 Cor.1:3,10-11)
Heavenly Father, I can’t remember a season when I’ve walked with more disheartened, weary, “nearly-toast” leaders. Pastors, missionaries, church-planters, youth workers… but also, sons and daughters you’ve called to a wide array of vocations in the community and culture.
Paul experienced “deadly peril” in his service of Jesus—quite literally, the threat of death. But “deadly peril” can come in many forms—emotionally, spiritually, mentally. Unfortunately, threat doesn’t just come from “outside the camp,” sometimes from inside, as well.
This makes knowing you as “the Father of mercy and God of all comfort” essential and precious. We dare not “set our hope” on mere people, but on you. And as the One who is sovereign over every nation, nanosecond, and gnat, you are pleased to use our prayers, words, and acts of encouragement.
Paul trusted you to work through his friends. May we be those kinds of friends to the leaders you have placed on our hearts, and in our lives. Father, bring faces and names before us this very day. Who needs what you are pleased to give through us?
And may we who are leaders, like Paul, know our warning signs, set our hope afresh on you, and reach out for the care of our Gospel-friends. Owned and shared weakness is our friend. Denial, isolation, faking-it, seething, blaming… these are enemies of the Gospel and perilously deadly. Thank you Father for real hope. So Very Amen.