October 21, 2020


Remember the story of the twin boys? One was an incurable pessimist, the other an optimist. The parents, seeking to balance the two, gave the pessimist a new bike for Christmas and the optimist a bag of horse manure.

Christmas morning came. The parents asked the pessimist, "Do you like your new bike?" He replied, "It's okay, but it will probably rust, and I'll have a wreck and cut myself and probably have to have a tetanus shot...."

Then they said, "Where's your brother?" To which he replied, "Oh, he got all excited and went outside saying something about trying to find his new horse!"

Everybody looks at life from the up or down side. Part of this is personality, but part is FAITH (one of the reasons we need each other.) Paul was a man of incredible faith. As he describes his ministry in 2 Corinthians 4:8-18, he could have taken just one side of the equation, which is what some people do to their great detriment.

I am...

  1. Afflicted in every way
  2. Perplexed
  3. Persecuted
  4. Struck down
  5. Always dying
  6. Constantly being delivered over to death
  7. Death is working in me
  8. Outer man is decaying
  9. Momentary, light affliction

Others view their lives from an eternal, heavenly perspective and say this about their situation.

I am...

  1. Not crushed
  2. Not despairing
  3. Not forsaken
  4. Not destroyed
  5. Life is manifested in my body
  6. Life is coming to others.
  7. Inner man is being renewed day by day


The best possible way to view life as a child of God is to join the two, just as Paul did. This acknowledges the reality of my current condition, but also the reality of God's abundant grace to "overwhelmingly conquer" through Jesus Christ our Lord!

I am...

  1. Afflicted, but not crushed
  2. Perplexed, but not despairing
  3. Persecuted, but not forsaken
  4. Struck down, but not destroyed
  5. Always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
  6. So death works in us, but life in you!
  7. Outer man is dying; inner man is being renewed day by day.
  8. Momentary, light affliction, is producing an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.

So how do we get there? How do we maintain a witness of great victory in the midst of the brokenness of the world and the press of ministry? The key is, as always to LOOK UP!

"For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we LOOK not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

If your vision is not aerated by heaven's reality you will be overwhelmed and discouraged. The authentic man of faith is a realist—but in both directions. He recognizes the problems, but also the solutions. A realistic view of both earth and heaven makes for a robust faith and gives hope in any situation to everyone who observes us.

Father, thank You for giving us what we need. Thank You that there is no problem that I have that is too big for You—nothing for which You do not have a solution. You work all things together for good to those who are loving You. Help me give a FULL and accurate testimony of my circumstances to bring hope to those around me.


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