Never crushed

II Corinthians 4:10, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”

This is the story of the Christian walk. Recently, I have been reading through the letters to the Corinthians, and it has been a constant reminder of who Christ is, who I am in Him, and how I am to serve Him. Specifically, Paul is continually encouraging the church to be fervent in spirit for Christ in the midst of persecution. There is no question as to the fact that, as a part of the body of Christ, I will always be persecuted; for I am called to be set apart as holy from the ways of the world. But regardless of the trials and tribulation we may suffer, Jesus Christ is my life, my promise, and my hope.

Afflicted, but not crushed. The true believer will certainly be persecuted, but he is blessed if he suffers in the name of Christ. I am constantly afflicted by the devil, the world, and the flesh, but I am never crushed. I will definitely stumble many times, but Christ keeps me from falling headlong when the weight of affliction is heavy on my shoulders.

Perplexed, but not despairing. God has an awesome and incredible plan in mind for each of His children. I know that I almost never understand what His design is when He puts me through trials. But I do not despair, because I can take courage in the fact that He is sovereign and He is holding my very life in His hands. These trials are merely threads in the elaborate tapestry of my sanctification that God is weaving.

Persecuted, but not forsaken. Undoubtedly, there will be times when the world will look on me with contempt, ridicule, and mockery. There will be places where I will suffer the scoffing of the world. And there will be people who will hate me for the Savior that I am called to represent. But these are not causes for discouragement. Not only is Christ my Savior, but He is my Protector, my strong tower, my Faithful Friend. Regardless of the persecution that I may suffer during this fleeting life on earth, I can yet know that I am never required to face it alone.

Struck down, but not destroyed. I am fleshly and sinful in nature. I will fail. I will stumble in my sin and I will fall into depravity. I cannot hope for perfection while here on this earth. All I can do is trust God for His redeeming love and forgiveness to pull me from the mire of my sin. It is because of Him that I am not utterly destroyed in my sin. Yes, Satan will strike me to the ground, but it is never I with the upper hand, but Jesus Christ in me. His power is supreme and unmatched, and in Him I have the complete victory over the Enemy.

What an awesome hope! To know that I am able to conquer a world of evil by the hand of a sovereign God who rules heaven and earth. It is by Him, in Him, and through Him that I am not destroyed, not forsaken, not despairing, never crushed.

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