Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Friday, April 29, 2016
Today’s Scripture Focus: 2 Corinthians 4:7-10
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. 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. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:6–9, NLT).
We are focusing on sin recovery principle number one of 12: “We admit that we are powerless against sin and thus we cannot manage our lives without God’s miraculous intervention.”
In case you have not figured this out already (although, for the life of me, I don’t know how that could be possible), this life will continue to hand you trials. If you live long enough, you will be pressed on every side. You will be perplexed. You will be accosted by difficulties. You will be knocked down. You will suffer. Believe me, I do not like being the bearer of bad news. However, so many of us are accustomed to hearing smooth sayings that when difficult times come, we become confused by them. We ask, “Why me, Lord?”
Notice what the Scriptures say: “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.” (1 Peter 4:12–16).
So the question really is when you are pressed on every side by troubles, will you be crushed?
So the question really is when you are pressed on every side by troubles, will you be crushed? When you are perplexed, will you be driven to despair? When you are hunted down, will you choose to feel abandoned by God? When you get knocked down, will you feel like you’ll be destroyed? The answer to those whose full faith is assured in the One who commanded the light to appear out of darkness, is no! We will not allow any trial to cause us to waver. Rather, we have the privilege to allow God’s blessed light to shine brightly in our hearts. This will make it clear to all who see us that our great power comes from God, not us. When that which would normally crush anyone else’s spirit only strengthens our resolve to live like Jesus, it will be evident that only God could have done this.
So be encouraged, dear friends when you encounter difficulties for Christ’s sake, knowing that you will come out on the other side fitted for the kingdom of God if you don’t lose faith. Just continue to abandon your own powerlessness in exchange for God’s omnipotence and these trials will soon be a distant memory that you’ll never need to experience again.