DEVOTION – DAY 96
2 Corinthians 4:10 “Growing Through Adversities”
2 Corinthians 4:10 “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”
The apostle Paul was certainly qualified to write this verse from his own personal experiences. He was a very active and successful missionary and he planted and started many churches in Asia Minor and Europe. But he also experienced many hardships as he went to share the gospel to Gentiles and Jews. He suffered being stoned, unjustly imprisoned, beaten, whipped, shipwrecked, rejections and so on for the sake of telling others about Jesus Christ. That was why he was able to honestly say that he could identify with the sufferings and death of Jesus – that was what “we always carry around in our body the death of Jesus” meant. But Paul was not complaining. Instead, he was joyful that he was privileged to be used by the Lord in this way. This was because he knew that it is through hardships that the Lord revealed His divine power to enable Paul to triumph and rise above all his many sufferings. That was what Paul meant in saying “so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
I must say that I am not as spiritually matured as Paul. Whenever I face some hardship in serving the Lord, I will pray and ask that the Lord deliver me from the hardship hopefully without delay. That would be the normal reaction of most people whenever they face difficulties and problems of all kinds. When we do that, we fail to realize that the Lord may want to use our hardships to reveal His power and for His glory. Also, in the process, He sharpens our faith in Him and molds our character to be more like Him. Paul did not become spiritually mature overnight. He became mature in Christ through many difficult hardships with Christ by His side.
A few months ago, we prayed for a man who caught the Covid-19 virus. He was hospitalized and put on a ventilator. Many prayed for quick healing for him. But his condition worsened and at one point, his kidney function was weakened. He remained in isolation and the days became weeks. He was in Intensive care for almost two months and was one of the patients who were longest on a ventilator. Throughout this time, many people prayed for him and he experienced God’s peace. His wife never gave up hope. And he finally slowly recovered and was discharged. He was able to testify to God’s faithfulness and he would be the first one to testify that his faith in the Lord had been greatly strengthened. His experience once again shows that human weaknesses are opportunities for the Lord to reveal His divine power and for His glory.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, we acknowledge that you are the Lord of all circum-stances, whether good or bad. Help us to look at all our difficulties as opportunities for you to reveal your power and glory. May we also grow spiritually as a result as well. In Jesus’ great name we pray. Amen.
- How do you look at the problems and difficulties in your life? What would you probably do when faced with these problems and difficulties?
- How has this verse thought you to look at your problems and difficulties in a different light? Discuss.
- Share of a time how God had revealed His power and glory to you in a time of difficulty? Share how this has caused your views about God to change.