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Monday, January 23, 2017

Troubles Can Become Assets

In review of 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 it says, “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not for; stuck down, but not destroyed.”

Bottom Line:
We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don’t know what to do, we never give up. In times of trouble, God is with us, and when we are knocked down, we get up again.

What this means to me:
I may be hard-pressed from every side by trouble, but I’m not crushed. I may end up perplexed, but never driven to despair. I may be hunted down, but never abandoned by God. I may get knocked down, but I’ll never be destroyed.

Today's passage comes from the fourth chapter of 2 Corinthians where Paul speaks of us being treasure in fragile clay jars.  Paul tells us that since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up. We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don't try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.

God who said, let there be light in the darkness, has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen 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 treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God and not from ourselves.

So we may be 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. 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.

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.

This 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 see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be see.  For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

So what I’m learning is that trouble is an asset, every improvement I’ve ever made is because of it.  My antagonist is my helper, shaping me into a strong person today than I was yesterday. Trouble sharpens my wit, improves my skill, and transforms my spine into steel.  I shouldn’t run from it, but face it head-on, and rejoice at the opportunity to become an overcomer.

A diamond is a lump of coal, made great under pressure. This lump of worthless coal endured intense pressure in the bowels of the earth until its carbons were so tightly compacted that all it could do was reflect the glorious light of day when its opportunity came to shine.

Today, I should consider what I’m doing with my life. Am I going to remain a lump of coal, or am I working toward becoming a diamond?  Don’t whine, but shine! God made me more priceless than diamonds; I shouldn’t sell myself short.

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