2 Corinthians 6v3-10
We give no opportunity for stumbling to anyone, so that the ministry will not be blamed. But as God’s ministers, we commend ourselves in everything: by great endurance, by afflictions, by hardship, by difficulties, by beatings, by imprisonments, by riots, by labors, by sleepless nights, by times of hunger, by purity, by knowledge, by patience, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the message of truth, by the power of God; through weapons of righteousness on the right hand and the left, through glory and dishonor, through slander and good report; as deceivers yet true; as unknown yet recognized; as dying and look — we live; as being disciplined yet not killed; as grieving yet always rejoicing; as poor yet enriching many; as having nothing yet possessing everything.
I woke up this morning with these words stirring in my heart. I am thankful i did because I need an reminder of the hope that is the reward of my endurance. By no means am I walking through the Hell that Paul faced on a daily bases but I promise you It is like I can feel the flames on my back. The last few years have been beyond strange and difficult. I sometimes feel like I have been in some weird dream or the butt of a joke. It has been hard.
It is so easy for us to play the victim. Some sick thing in our hearts loves it despite the words we say about it and the tears we shed. It is as if we need it. Like it is some hellish fuel for the spiral of self and justification for our actions and desires that are not at all producing life. It is so much easier to wallow in self pity than to stand up covered in mud and rejoice in our sufferings. I have never been through anything in comparison to Paul but yet here he is rejoicing in all of it. He even says these things are the signs that mark him as a minister of the Gospel.
Paul did not complain or murmur. He did not belly ache or pitch a fit. He was filled with the living joy of God in the middle of his hell! He saw through pure eyes! He saw the truth despite his momentary light affliction! I am so comforted in this! Because the same Spirit that was at work in him is the same Spirit working in me!
Today I am choosing to not be the victim. Today I am choosing to count it all joy in the light of knowing my King. Today I am resting in the reality of Heaven in me so that I am not derailed by temporal momentary trials!
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ
Through whom, to whom, and for whom all things exist!