Confidence While Crushed

Life can be difficult, disabling, discouraging and dangerous. We can feel the weight crushing us. The normal human reaction to these circumstances might be to wonder why God allows such misery and heartache. We need to trust that God has a purpose in whatever He allows or causes. Another way of putting it is that, while God cares about our suffering. He cares even more about what our response will be. For perfume to be released, the source for that perfume has to be crushed. In II Corinthians 4:8-12, Paul shares his own experience of suffering that he and others endured: “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you.” As long as sin remains a part of life on this present earth, there will be suffering! When we respond in confidence, we give other Christians confidence that God can bring blessings out of buffetings. Unsaved people, seeing How God sustains us, and our supernatural confidence that He has a purpose and that we don’t “fold” when we are in the midst of trials, are sometimes drawn to saving faith. Think with me on the thoughts in Reginald Heber’s hymn: “The Son of God Goes Forth to War:” “The Son of God goes forth to war a kingly crown to gain. His blood-red banner streams afar; who follows in His train? Who best can drink His cup of woe, triumphant over pain, who patient bears his cross below–he follows in His train.The martyr first, whose eagle eye could pierce beyond the grave, who saw his Master in the sky and called on Him to save. Like Him, with pardon on His tongue, In midst of mortal pain, He prayed for them that did the wrong– who follows in his train? A glorious band, the chosen few, on whom the Spirit came, twelve valiant saints–their hope they knew and mocked the cross and flame. They met the tyrant’s brandished steel, the lion’s gory mane; they bowed their necks their death to feel– who follows in their train?” Selah! “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”     Ron

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