Scripture: 2 Corinthians 4:1-18
Observation: Paul encourages the believers to see the purpose of their suffering, assuring them that this life is temporary, but their purpose is eternal.
Application: Currently, I got 99 problems. (Maybe more.)
I’ve got a host of right-now problems that haven’t yet been resolved, a collection of immediate problems with no long-term solutions, and a few future problems that I’m already anxiously anticipating. Can you relate? My current problem this morning is trying to find something that will flatter my growing baby bump rather than making me look like I’ve eaten too many donuts and have just given up on life altogether. The struggle is real, y’all. (You do NOT want to be around me during the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. when I’m getting ready for the day. My behavior is downright embarrassing as I deem EVERY SINGLE THING in my closet unwearable.)
Truthfully, I have a few really big problems right now – problems much, much bigger than what I’m supposed to wear each morning. I have mornings where it feels like I’m in an intense spiritual battle, tired and defeated before the day has ever really started.
But, then I remember Paul’s words: these problems are temporary.
“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. [Hallelujah, right?!] Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” (verse 17)
When we are living as children of the light, with hearts focused on the Lord, we will face problems. We are like fragile jars of clay, yet God somehow entrusted us – you and me – to carry on the message of his Son. And because we are God’s vessels, nothing can hold us down.
“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.” (verse 8)
If you’re alone – or at least in a relatively safe place where you can talk aloud to yourself without looking like a total weirdo – repeat those last words aloud.
We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.
Our trouble cannot overcome us when our God is for us! His power is bigger than our problems.
So let’s offer him up our problems today – our right-now problems, our big and scary long-term problems, our relationship problems and financial problems and work problems and family problems – and believe him to heal, to restore, to renew us, so that we will overcome.
Prayer: God, thank you for that reminder about your power – that with you living in us, we will not be destroyed. You are stronger, you are greater, you are our source of strength! Amen.