Today we continue our series “God is faithful!” I was led to 2 Corinthians 4. In this passage, we will look at what it looks like to believe God is faithful. Because of God’s faithfulness towards us, we can withstand and overcome anything!
Yesterday we looked at verse 7. Today we will look at verse 8.
(2 Corinthians 4:1, 7-13, 16-18 TPT)
1 Now, it’s because of God’s mercy that we have been entrusted with the privilege of this new covenant ministry. And we will not quit or faint with weariness.
7 We are like common clay jars that carry this glorious treasure within, so that this immeasurable power will be seen as God’s, not ours.
8 Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed. At times we don’t know what to do, but quitting is not an option.
9 We are persecuted by others, but God has not forsaken us. We may be knocked down, but not out.
10 We continually share in the death of Jesus in our own bodies so that the resurrection life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity.
11 We consider living to mean that we are constantly being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake so that the life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity.
12 So, then, death is at work in us but it releases life in you.
13 We have the same Spirit of faith that is described in the Scriptures when it says, “First I believed, then I spoke in faith.” So we also first believe then speak in faith.
16 So no wonder we don’t give up. For even though our outer person gradually wears out, our inner being is renewed every single day.
17 We view our slight, short-lived troubles in the light of eternity. We see our difficulties as the substance that produces for us an eternal, weighty glory far beyond all comparison,
18 because we don’t focus our attention on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but the unseen realm is eternal.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
(2 Corinthians 4:8 KJV)
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair.
(2 Corinthians 4:8 TPT)
Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed. At times we don’t know what to do, but quitting is not an option.
1. The Apostle Paul is a great example of enduring and overcoming by God’s grace.
The Apostle Paul is my favorite character in scripture. He is very relatable to me, and identifying with his witness has helped me overcome, endure, and press through my own challenges in the past 25+ years of walking with Christ.
Paul had the most significant impact (outside of Jesus) on the first century, and his impact is still being felt today. However, this impact would have never happened if he had not embraced the grace of God. Looking back on his life, Paul said the following:
“I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked” (2 Cor 11:23-27).
While going through all of this, Paul never once quit. He kept preaching Christ and Him crucified although he was imprisoned for it, and he opened his heart to be used of the Holy Spirit to write half the New Testament, even if he wrote many of the letters from jail. Paul is qualified to tell us to KEEP GOING. He is also qualified to testify of the amazing things you can do if you allow the Holy Spirit to live through you.
2. God’s presence does not guarantee a lack of opposition; it may attract it!
The Apostle Paul taught us that God Himself is living on the inside of us and that the power we have comes from Him and not from us. After making this great statement, the very next thing he said was, “Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed.” Paul went from “We have this treasure in earthen vessels,” to “we experience every kind of pressure” or “we have trouble on every side.” This contrast is one we should pay attention to.
— On the one hand, God has chosen to take up residence inside of us when we are Born-Again. On the other hand, God’s presence does not guarantee a lack of opposition. Actually, it’s the opposite. God’s presence and His power in us will actually attract opposition from the enemy. The good news is that God is with us, so we don’t have to face the challenges alone. Furthermore, if we allow the Holy Spirit to live through us, the power of the Holy Spirit will enable us to experience and enjoy the victory Jesus has already provided.
— Bad things happen to good people. That’s life. When you start walking with God and seeking to perform His will on the earth, you may encounter trouble on every side. The good news is that God is with you and IN you. Since God is IN you, you can face trouble and not be troubled by your trouble. As a matter of fact, you can get to the point where you trouble your trouble instead of being troubled by it.
— When you realize that God is living on the inside of you, you can have trouble all around you, but that does not mean you have to allow it IN YOU! You can have peace on the inside, even when everything is seemingly going crazy on the outside.
— God never promised you an absence of trouble. God just promised to be with you. Since God is with you, you can say like Paul, “Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed.”
3. God’s grace empowers you to endure every kind of pressure.
I know people today who are stressed out. They feel like the pressures of this world are caving in on them and overtaking them. These are people who love God, who are filled with the Holy Spirit, who attend church services regularly, and who are, by all accounts, good people. The reason why I talk about “The Grace Life” so much is because I know the transformation it has made in me. I keep a busy schedule like many of the people I know. By some accounts, I am involved in more things than many of the people I know, but I don’t routinely get stressed out over all the things God has me involved in. Now, I am human, and I have my moments from time to time, but when I do, I am quick to SNAP OUT OF IT and get back over into the grace of God.
You have to SNAP OUT of your humanity if you are going to live in the divinity God placed in you. This is how Paul lived. There is no way Paul could have done what he did in his own strength. If Paul lived as a mere human, the challenges he faced would have crushed him. So going back to what Paul said: in one moment, Paul tells us that God put His treasure down inside of us (The Holy Spirit), in the next moment, Paul says, “Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed. At times we don’t know what to do, but quitting is not an option.” Paul’s point is that when you realize the fact that God is IN you, and you yield to God (The Holy Spirit), there is nothing you can’t do because there is nothing God can’t do!
— The Holy Spirit will enable you to overcome every kind of pressure.
— No matter how much pressure your job, business, boss, family, spouse, etc. put on you, when you yield to the Holy Spirit, you will never be crushed, and while you may not always have all the answers at the moment, you know QUITTING IS NOT AN OPTION!
— You can have trouble on every side and not be moved by it when you have God on the INSIDE!
We will stop here. I have given you enough for today.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I thank You for leading me to LEVEL UP in this season. I LEVEL UP by embracing the fulness of the treasure You placed in me. You gave me Your Spirit. I am in You, and You are in me. I am in Your Kingdom, and Your Kingdom is in me. Your presence does not guarantee an absence of opposition. Your presence and Your purpose may actually attract trouble. But I am not moved by it. I can have trouble on every side and not be troubled by it because I have You on the INSIDE. I withstand and overcome every kind of pressure. I am never crushed, I am never defeated, and even when I don’t know what to do, quitting is not an option for me! As a matter of fact, GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.