Our present circumstances can often dictate our feelings and emotions. It is easy to get bogged down in our own sufferings, trials, and afflictions. In the midst of pain, God presents us with an opportunity to move closer to Him by dwelling on things eternal, or to focus inwardly; consumed by our troubles through our own shortsightedness.
We are pressured in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
St. Paul writes in this passage of the many troubles he and the other disciples of Christ experienced. From the point that Jesus returned to His Father, the Apostles suffered greatly. They were hated, pursued, and persecuted. Yet they stayed the course…they did not lose heart.
As followers of Christ, we each have our own specific ways in which we suffer. Whether it be a result of mental illness, physical pain, loneliness, persecution for our faith, addiction, physical handicaps, natural disasters, and so on; our struggles pose unique hurdles and challenges for each of us. And in whatever depth of suffering or adversity we find ourselves, it is helpful to set our gaze on the long term.
Focus On The Prize
And since we have the same spirit of faith in keeping with what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke, we also believe, and therefore speak. We know that the One who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and present us with you. Indeed, everything is for your benefit, so that grace, extended through more and more people, may cause thanksgiving to increase to God’s glory. (2 Cor 4:13-15)[Continue Reading...]