I have amazing news for you! Are you ready to read them? Here you go:
Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you. 2 Corinthians 4:11-12
I know what you’re thinking, “Did she just post the wrong verse?”
Nope I didn’t.
Was I being sarcastic?
Maybe a little but mostly I promise you that by the time I finish this post you will agree with me that this is actually amazing news. This might not be the most encouraging or exciting scripture when you think about following Jesus and it definitely destroys any thought that following Christ means cotton candy clouds and perfect rainbows. BUT, we need to understand who wrote this, when he wrote this and why he wrote this. Paul went through A LOT. And when I say a lot, I mean it.
I’ve worked much harder, been jailed more often, beaten up more times than I can count, and at death’s door time after time. I’ve been flogged five times with the Jews’ thirty-nine lashes, beaten by Roman rods three times, pummeled with rocks once. I’ve been shipwrecked three times, and immersed in the open sea for a night and a day. In hard traveling year in and year out, I’ve had to ford rivers, fend off robbers, struggle with friends, struggle with foes. I’ve been at risk in the city, at risk in the country, endangered by desert sun and sea storm, and betrayed by those I thought were my brothers. I’ve known drudgery and hard labor, many a long and lonely night without sleep, many a missed meal, blasted by the cold, naked to the weather
2 Corinthians 11:23-27 (MSG)
Most of us (praise God) will not be flogged, pummeled with rocks, beaten or imprisoned for following The Lord. However, we will go through heartache, rejection, solitude and obviously life struggles like financial issues, relational issues and other “normal” problems that this world brings. So many times I have heard people say, “Since I decided to become a Christian I feel like I have attracted more problems to my life so I don’t even know if it’s worth it to follow Christ, it’s so hard!” Well, I don’t know if living a life that doesn’t conform to this world is something that makes it harder, or walking away from wrong relationships makes it harder, but one thing I’ll say is NO MATTER HOW HARD THE SITUATION, YOU CAN EXPERIENCE TRUE PEACE THROUGH IT!
The Prince of Peace lives in you so that means He will reign over anything that you are walking through! You just need to set your eyes on Him, on his goodness, faithfulness and truth.
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
God doesn’t promise a pain free life, but promises to hold us, heal us and restore us every single time. He will never leave us!
We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. 2 Corinthians 4:9-10
Having God’s presence and help through problems helps us realize we can go through anything, however, what will make us not be worried about problems at all? The answer is: our focus.
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
If our focus is always eternity, the problems of this world will not overwhelm us. We will always know, this is temporary and not giving up will actually have a lasting effect on eternity. We are so familiar with the word eternity sometimes that I feel we underestimate the difference between our life on earth and our eternity. So let’s put things back into perspective and lets be thankful that on top of having problems that are just temporary, God’s help and support is always available so we can go through them.
Featured image by Choyce Hays