FRIDAY, JANUARY 19
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
2 Corinthians 4: 8-10 ESV
WHEN LIFE HAPPENS: DON’T LOSE PERSPECTIVE
A young man wanted to devote himself to the Lord and decided he could best do that by entering a monastery. Now the rules of the monastery he entered included the vow of silence. According to their policy you were not permitted to speak except after every ten years of service you could say two words. At the end of the first 10 years of service he said, “Bad food.” Ten more years passed, and he said, “Hard bed.” On his 3rd ten-year anniversary he said, “I quit.” At that the priest in charge over the monastery, who is not given to the vow of silence, replied, “You might as well. All you do is complain all the time.”
They had plenty to complain about in 2 Corinthians, but they chose not to because of their perspective. They were “afflicted in every way.” The word picture is like being surrounded and crowded in by all sorts of trials. Most of us know what it’s like to feel like the walls of life closing in around us. But from Paul’s perspective those things weren’t going to crush him, make him despair, feel abandoned or destroy Him. This was primarily because He knew Jesus was with him.
The missionary who opened inland China to the gospel, J Hudson Taylor, used to say, “All God’s giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on Him being with them.” When a friend asked Sir Douglas Haig, British Field Marshal, during a very bad time in WWI if he was discouraged, he replied, “DISCOURAGED?! A CHRISTIAN MAN HAS NO RIGHT TO BE DISCOURAGED IN THE SAME WORLD AS GOD!”
Life happens, and things get difficult. Just because we are Christians doesn’t mean life doesn’t get difficult. The thing we have as Christians are the promises and presence of God. Where do you feel the most pressure in life right now? What difference should the promises and presence of God have on your perspective about your pressures? Ask God to give you His perspective today.