Following Jesus 170
Following Jesus: The Progress of the Pilgrim.
The Castle of Doubt and the Giant of Despair. 2 Corinthians 4:1-18.
What can we learn from our personal pressures and persecutions because of Christ wherein we can overcome doubt and despair? To begin with and in light of 2 Corinthians 4:1-18, the follower of Jesus must think correctly upon the promises of God. The follower of Jesus must think correctly, or foster correct thinking, by reading and meditating upon the Word of God.
Secondly, the follower of Jesus must completely trust in the character of God. Vs. 8-18. The follower of Jesus completely trusts in the promises of God contained in the Word of God because of the character of God who has made those promises. How does the believer trust in the character of God while in the midst of pressures and persecutions?
To begin with, 2 Corinthians 4 says the believer is to look beyond the physical to the spiritual. (When in the paradox of suffering, yet rejoicing, in Jesus). Vs. 8-9.
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9 ESV).
Additionally, the believer looks beyond the present to the future. (When in the paradox of living, yet dying, for Jesus). Vs. 10-14.
“Always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you. Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak. Knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence” (2 Corinthians 4:10-14 ESV).
Finally, we look beyond the visible to the invisible. (When in the paradox of the temporal, vs. the eternal, in Jesus). Vs. 15-18.
“For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:15-18).
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