A Chinese New Year’s Blessing: 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

Chinese New Year is upon us again! It is the season of having good food, great family times and of course spending a little too excessively on Hong Baos, Bak Kwa and Pineapple Tarts! It is also a time of unusual customs: wearing red, not washing or cutting our hair on the first day of CNY and not sweeping the floors.

This is also the season that many would want to be blessed with wealth and prosperity. So participating in some of these rituals and customs would be deemed necessary to ensure that we are blessed throughout the rest of the year.

But the Bible explains blessings a little differently. In 2 Corinthians 1:3-7, the Apostle Paul reveals who blesses us, why He blesses us and what that blessing is all about?

1. WHO BLESSES ME? (2Cor 1:3):
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,(NIV)
Paul, in the opening of this letter used three titles to bless and praise God. Father of our Lord Jesus Christ: God cares for us as if we are his own children because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross! Father of Compassion: which means the originator of all Compassion. He therefore knows all our difficulties and our problems. God of All (or every) Comfort: this word in Greek literally means “to come alongside” to comfort or encourage. So who is the person who blesses me? A God that accepts us as His own children, knows all our difficulties and stands beside us during all our troubles!

2. WHY BLESS ME? (2Cor 1:4–5)
4He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.5For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. (NLT)
Why would He do that? Why would God bless me? The answer is simple… He wants to! God wants to comfort us so that we can comfort those who are also in trouble. When we receive God’s comfort in our troubles, we experience God’s faithfulness first-hand. We can then minister to others the assurance of God’s faithfulness. God does not comfort us to make us COMFORTABLE, but to make us COMFORTERS.

3. WHAT (actually) IS THE BLESSING? (2Cor 1:6–7):
6Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer.7We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us. (NLT)

If we understand Paul carefully, we will notice that he didn’t say “if” we are weighed down with troubles, he says “when”. That means that troubles will happen in this life, the only question is when? No one can guarantee that we will have a trouble-free future even if we practice every CNY tradition or ritual for good luck. But Paul tells us we are assured of a great blessing from God and it’s found in verse 7:“the comfort God gives us!” 

Since we know that we are certain to have trouble in our lives regardless of what we do, wouldn’t it be a great blessing to know that we have a God that cares for us as His own children, has compassion and knows our every need, and comes alongside to see us through our difficulties?

If we believe this and trust the Lord, that’s the BEST BLESSING that anyone can have this season!

Wishing this great blessing of the LORD to you, your family and your businesses this Chinese New Year!

Pastor Simon

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