Hello, there! I’m Christopher, which you should have known if you saw my cute little green logo. So, let me not distract you from the following post. I hope you like it! I’d love to hear your thoughts after you’re done reading it! Enjoy!
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
As Christians, we have to suffer much. And that’s what we’re going to read about today. 2nd Corinthians was written by a man who was no stranger to suffering: Paul.
Paul is encouraging us that we shouldn’t lose heart! We shouldn’t give up, we should keep going and, run the race of our faith! We are given a wonderful message to preach! We are able to tell others about the lifesaving message of salvation! This ministry is a gift from God. Our work should be considered a joy. Consider it a special privilege. Because of those thoughts, Paul didn’t quit.
Paul said that people were easily following false teachers because they were teaching things that weren’t true and what seemed easier to believe. But why would people follow liars instead of people who told the truth? Well, Satan has blinded the minds of many and many people find it easy to believe in lies rather than the truth.
In chapter 4, verse 7, Paul says, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
As believers, each and every single of us are jars of clay. It is the inside that gives us value! It’s like beauty. A girl may be pretty or a guy handsome, but it is what is in the inside that truly matters. So the treasure that is within us is what gives us our real value. But what is the treasure that Paul is talking about? I believe the answer is our testimony, our life story, and how it encourages others.
Verses 8 and 9 say, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted; but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
When we go through trials, there comes a testimony. I heard from J. Jackson of ApologetiX that it is the trials that makes the testimonies big. Like the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. It would have been interesting if the King just let them go, but the story did not go in that direction. The climax of the story convinced the King that God is real, and it made it one of the most loved Bible stories.
Verses 10 and 11 say, “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.”
We are doing our work for the Lord and his glory. Whatever happens to us is for the Lord’s glory. God has a plan for our lives and we do what he says to do. And God is the one who is supposed to get the glory.
Verse 12 says, “So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”
The “death” that Paul is talking about is the trials that he’s enduring. As a spiritual leader, he was making sacrifices for his fellow friends. The trials that we will go through may be very difficult. So what should encourage us to keep going? The fact that we have the privilege that we are able to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. And besides, it is the trials make the Christian walk all the more richer. (Harris)
Verses 13 and 14 say, “It is written: ‘I believed; therefore I have spoken.’ With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence.”
The phrase “spirit of faith” refers to our attitude of faith that should belong to every believer. Paul says he holds firm to his faith and he speaks for the Lord. He said in 1st Corinthians, “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel.” Strong words, every one. But why would he say that? Well, it’s because he had sure confidence in what he believed. Also, he wanted everyone to hear about the good news he had to tell to everyone.
Verse 15 says, “All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.”
Everything is for the glory of God. The afflictions were for the believers’ benefit and for God’s glory. And more people will come to know Christ.
Verse 16 says, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”
Paul is not saying that we should neglect the body. No, our bodies are the temple of God and deserve to be cared for. He’s saying that while our earthly bodies wear out, he is spiritually being renewed every day. The more he worked to share the Gospel, the more his spiritual resilience increased.
Verses 17 and 18 say, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
The heavenly glories are humongous compared to our earthly troubles. “[The] afflictions . . . were temporary but [the] award is eternal,” said Harris. But we should still tackle those problems well, doing our very best. We should let God help us handle them and help us learn from these experiences for His glory.
We should remember what is eternal and what is not. Our focus should be on eternal things, not earthly things. But how do we “look at things that are invisible?” Wiesrsbe tells us it is possible “By faith, when you read the Word of God.” Because we believe the Word of God, we know that Heaven is real. We know that God is up there. We know all this because we have put our faith in God and his Word.
Verses 6 through 8 say in chapter 5, “Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”
So, because of all these promises from God, Paul had confidence whenever he went through trials! But he was always eager to be with his Lord, for “we are absent from the Lord’s presence as long as this body forms our residence,” so “we really prefer to leave our home in this body and take up residence in the presence of the Lord” says Harris. We shall have a greater relationship with the Lord in Heaven than on earth.
Paul lived by faith and not by sight. He was willing to lose his life for Christ. This does not mean he deliberately put himself in dangerous zones on the battlefield. Paul had courage and didn’t lose heart. He knew his ministry was profitable and it glorified God. He also knew his eternal destination and its rewards. And so should we. We should be courageous. We should walk by faith and not by sight. We need to keep our eyes on the prize, though that shouldn’t be an obsession. And with Paul, we can be “More Than Champions!” Amen!
Lastly, verses nine and ten say, “So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”
Our life is in God’s hands and we should please him in whatever we do. Our life should be focused on sharing the Gospel to others. Let’s give Christ a pleasing report on that Judgment Day. That itself is a motivation all by itself. Whatever we do, whatever we say, whatever we think, it will be told to our Lord. Will it be a report that is pleasing and glorifying, or will it be all messed up with mistakes? If you are messed up and want to change, then please go to Christ.
Hello again! I’m so happy you finished reading my post, and, boy, do I hope you liked it!
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