Monday, September 23, 2013

Pushing through the pain

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (MSG) “So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever.”

How many times in your life have you felt like throwing in the towel? A situation in your relationship is getting too tough to manage, work is getting really stressful, or perhaps finances have gotten too tight. Every fiber in your being wants to throw your hands up in the air and scream at the top of your lungs “I can’t take it anymore! I give up!” and run for the nearest exit. I know exactly how you feel; I have been there a time or two myself. As tough as situations may seem at various times in our life, and as tough as what I am about to write may be to read, I feel I must share it with you (and even with myself).

This life is temporary. We are only here on this earth for a little while. Right now it may seem like we are here for an eternity. But I promise… it’s not.

There is all of eternity to gain if we look at this world through a temporal view. If you read through Paul’s epistles, you will see that he suffered great trials and distress as he preached the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout his known world. Paul didn't let the trial or the circumstances of situations he faced stop him because he realized something...his rest and reward were in heaven.

I admire Paul’s strength and perseverance! All too often when we face problems of any sort it’s easy to focus on the problem (or the pain it’s causing) instead of looking at what’s on the other side. Paul knew he needed to draw his strength from the power of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:16) to push through times of trials, pain and suffering.

We never know what God will bring out of our deepest suffering or greatest trial. But I do know what His word promises in Romans 8:28 (NCV) "We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him. They are the people he called, because that was his plan.

Did you catch the word EVERYTHING?  This means God will use every experience, every heartache, every trial, every mountain top...EVERYTHING!

Related reading: Romans 5:3-4

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