Plea for Grace August 19, 2022

2 Corinthians 4:7-18 ESV - 
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 
8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 
9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 
10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 
11 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. 
12 So death is at work in us, but life in you. 
13 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, 
14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 
15 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. 
16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 
17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 
18 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.

Perspective . . .

afflicted thlibo pressed hard upon (like squashing grapes) but not crushed stenochōreō (basically squashed in our spirit); perplexed aporeō at a loss, not knowing what to do but not despairing exaporeō utterly at a loss, without hope or resource; persecuted diōkō harassed, troubled, molested, persecuted but not forsaken egkataleipō left helpless, left in the lurch; struck down kataballō thrown to the ground like in a wrestling match but not destroyed apollymi to perish, be lost, ruined.

Right and godly perspective is NOT a denial of the negative. Notice what Paul was presently enduring (not just some isolated incident in the distant past)
being perplexed
struck down
and the terms he uses do not minimize the significance or the hurt or the confusion. However, he sees these difficulties as temporary, which they are.
What is eternal, and what is true is that in Christ my spirit cannot be crushed beyond help. I will never be utterly at a loss because God gives wisdom generously to those who ask without doubting. I will never be forsaken because God has promised to never leave me or forsake me. I will never be utterly ruined and permanently destroyed because God has promised that no one or no thing can separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus. 
How do I know these things? How can I have the hope that Paul had?
By knowing God's Word. By believing that His Word is true and that His Word is sufficient. 
Psalm 18:30-31 ESV - 30 This God--his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. 31 For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?--

This doesn't happen haphazardly, or in a last-minute cram session when I feel the pressure and I've tried everything else I know to do . . . . (been there, done that, and yes, have the t-shirt)
It's why I post the "daily wisdom" block at the bottom of each post. Its' why I have committed to memorizing God's Word (whole psalms, whole passages, whole chapters -- one bite at a time). The more you know God's Word (and like James 1, not as a forgetful hearer but a doer who acts i.e. puts it into practice) the more God will change your thinking to conform to His will. The Holy Spirit is our teacher and He is very good at His job 🙂
Psalm 119:4-7 ESV - 4 You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently. 5 Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes! 6 Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments. 7 I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules.

John 14:22-26 ESV - 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, "Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?" 23 Jesus answered him, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me. 25 "These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

Please don’t miss this — I am not talking about spiritual osmosis. You will not get magical benefit by sleeping with your Bible under your pillow. The Holy Spirit will bring to your remembrance . . . I will praise You with an upright heart when I learn . . .

Ask God to give you a love for His Word. Listen to audio bible in the car. Put in the ear buds and listen while you vacuum or clean the bathroom or fold laundry. Read His Word. Study His Word. Believe His Word. Your perspective will change over time . . .

More tomorrow . . . .

Pray for the Persecuted Church — OpenDoorsUSA

Day 5: Pray that Christians would not be tempted to
give in to tribalism and anger towards Muslims but
would continue to trust the Lord to fight for them.

Daily Wisdom
Psalm 19, 49, 79, 109, 139
Proverbs 19

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