WHY BELIEVERS CAN BE COURAGEOUS AND EVEN JOYFUL IN THE MIDST OF DIFFICULTY

August 31, 2019

WHY BELIEVERS CAN BE COURAGEOUS AND EVEN JOYFUL IN THE MIDST OF DIFFICULTY


All of us face some measure of suffering in this life. It could be a physical challenge, a hard ministry task, an overwhelming and perplexing difficulty, a persecution for our faith, a deep burden, or simply the rigors of living a life of determined godliness.

For some, this suffering is more intense. Paul was one of those who faced grave suffering in order to complete the task of the gospel that was entrusted to him. Yet, he was able to face it with courage and even joy. How?

It was because, as a believer in Christ, he knew, believed, and experienced some things in his suffering. Truths that change everything. Truths that place any measure and any type of suffering in their proper perspective. Truths that not only carry us through difficulty but make us more than conquerors in our struggles.  Notice how he lists these in 2 Corinthians 4-5.

Paul said, “I know that ...”

  1. My “dying” is so that the LIFE of Jesus can be manifested in my body (4:10)
  2. Death is working in me, but this brings spiritual life to others (4:11-12)
  3. God’s resurrection power will one day soon resurrect me (4:13-14)
  4. Because of my suffering, God’s grace is spreading to more and more people (4:15)
  5. Because more people are receiving God’s grace, more giving of thanks is abounding to God and He is more glorified (4:15)
  6. Even though my outer man is decaying, my inner man is growing, being renewed every single day. Nothing can keep me from spiritual growth. In fact, suffering accelerates my growth (4:16)
  7. This momentary light affliction is producing something for me: an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison (4:17)
  8. I’m not looking at this momentary, temporal life (which I can see), but my future life which is eternal (which I cannot yet physically see, but is real and coming soon! (4:18)
  9. Even though this earthly tent is being destroyed, I have a building being handmade for me by God himself, which is eternal and indestructible! (5:1)
  10. God has given me a down-payment to remind me of my future inheritance. And that down-payment is nothing less than the Spirit of God living in me! (5:5)
  11. In the future, there will be a great reward for faithfulness (5:10)

In summary, we can have courage and rejoice in suffering and sacrifice because …

  • Suffering has a glorious purpose for us, others, and God’s glory
  • Suffering is always accompanied by God’s absolute sufficiency
  • Suffering produces something unique and extraordinary in us (which is experienced no other way)
  • Suffering is always momentary and temporal
  • Suffering is eternally rewarded by the One who suffered the most

We would think that such courage and joy is merely some pastor’s embellished rhetoric had we not seen it modeled in millions of humble believers through the ages. Their suffering and undeniable courage and joy is an irrefutable testimony of the reality of these truths.





Also in Graceful Truth

GOD’S LIMITATIONS
GOD’S LIMITATIONS

June 28, 2022

Our limited thoughts about God are our most limiting condition. What we believe about Him determines everything about us: what we think, how we respond, and what we will accomplish in life. It even determines what we believe about ourselves, for we were made in His image. To think less of Him is to dramatically decrease our understanding of our own potential.

Continue Reading

THE FIRST STEP TO WISDOM
THE FIRST STEP TO WISDOM

June 22, 2022

A wise man is not only knowledgeable but has the unique ability to apply the right truth at the right moment in the right way. He is the one you seek when you don’t know what to do. He is the one who speaks little in a meeting, but when he opens his mouth, he has the word that everyone has been waiting for; that clarifies the entire issue in a sentence. As opposed to the brashness of the arrogant, his words carry a depth and solidity and warmth that is unusual and profound.

Continue Reading

ALL THE WAY TO THE FINISH LINE
ALL THE WAY TO THE FINISH LINE

June 21, 2022

This is a consistent principle that God speaks to us repeatedly: if you have an affection for something God has forbidden, it will gradually turn your heart to the god behind that affection. You will not be a man after God's own heart like David was, but a man whose heart is turned away after other gods, like Solomon.

Continue Reading