Text: 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 “We are hard pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed”
The Holy Spirit has had me meditating on this scripture this past week. In 2 Corinthians chapter 4, we see Paul is speaking from experience he understood and lived. Paul was a persecuted man, he was hunted down and thrown in prison and suffered greatly for the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was speaking here from great experience.
But because Paul suffered greatly, he also knew the great power and love of his savior to meet his needs. There are some aspects of God’s great work in our lives that is only realized and understood through great suffering and trials.
We often desire to experience the power of Jesus resurrection, but few are willing to endure in the fellowship of His suffering. I love what David Guzik a great theologian says in his commentary on this chapter.
“However, there are certain fragrances God can only release through a broken vial, so Paul rejoiced in knowing both the suffering and the glory. He knew the two were connected.”
Paul was able to focus on the reward instead of the momentary pain. The scripture assures us that we will suffer for the Gospel. We are fortunate in our country that we do not suffer like many of our missionary brothers and sisters do. They often put their lives on the line every day just to carry Bibles into communist countries or preach the gospel to underground churches. But we very well could find ourselves in America facing these same kinds of threats one day.
Are we willing to endure the fellowship of Jesus suffering to experience the power of His resurrection?
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 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
Do not be discouraged or feel defeated and destroyed, we can rejoice that amid suffering as God shows us His great glory and faithfulness. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.May the God of peace guard your hearts.