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Author Topic: Life Is At Work In You--Devotional  (Read 3797 times)
artsymominnc
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« on: January 21, 2008, 04:13:24 AM »

Life Is At Work In You
by Jon Walker



We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. (2 Corinthians 4:8-12, NIV)



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We are jars of clay, chipped and blemished, fragile by God’s design in order to show the glorious light of God shining through our cracks and crevices. People should look at us and say, “What’s this? That plain jar of clay isn’t creating such a glorious light; it must be the light of heaven contained within. The peace and joy and love I see in that light must be from God.”


And so our older brother Paul says we can rest assured that our hardships are not meant to defeat us. God is still at work in our lives, even if we’re unable to see his hand at work.


We may be hard pressed, yet our hope in God keeps us from being crushed; perplexed, yet our hope in God keeps us from despair; persecuted, yet our hope in God tells us we’re not abandoned; struck down, yet our God keeps us from being destroyed. We are at the crossroads where the street called “When You Can’t See God’s Hand” intersects with the avenue of “Then Trust God’s Heart.”


And God says his heart is not to hurt us, but to help us as we journey back to heavenly wholeness with him. His good plan for us doesn’t mean we won’t be hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted, or struck down. It means we can remain filled with hope, even as we pick ourselves up off the ground.


God’s plan is that every time we face these hardships, we learn to trust God a little bit more, so that every time the hardships press in, we can be a little stronger. God is our strength, not our own ability to carry the weight.


God doesn’t ask us to “work up” this hope – pretending we’re joyful when our whole world is collapsing around us. Rather, our hardships allow the Holy Spirit to work within us, developing joy and peace – teaching us to stop trusting in our own understanding and instead to trust that God is at work within and around our lives.


Paul encourages us to press on toward Christ-likeness. In order to be like Jesus, however, we must be men and women acquainted with sorrow, just like Lord Jesus, who hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down, only to rise again.


In him we place our hope, and it is a hope that will not disappoint.


What does this mean?

· See your problems as leading you to be more like Jesus – Ask God to help you see how your problems are helping you grow toward Christ-likeness. Ask God to show you how your hardships are working for you and not against you. Ask him to help you embrace a peace that passes all understanding.


· Skip the ‘try harder’ mentality – The Christian walk is difficult enough without beating ourselves up about the need to “try harder.” Rest in Christ and allow him to give you peace, even as you face hardship. Your ability to “try harder” pales in comparison to Jesus’ ability to be your strength in the midst of trouble. By this, you will discover that God is strongest in your moments of weakness.


© 2008 Purpose Driven Life. All rights reserved.
Pastor Jon Walker is a writer for www.GraceCreates.com.
 
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