I preached on the subject recently and thought it might help others in these trying times. I take the thought from 2 Cor. 4:8-11 where we see the subject introduced in verse 8, “We are troubled on every side.” The verses give several negative words such as, “persecuted…cast down…” Verse 10 gives the eternal purpose of the ministry of suffering in the lives of believers, “that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”
It is good to know that suffering in the lives of believers has a higher purpose, and what Satan throws at us can always be turned into the revelation of Christ to others.” The fact is that the Lord can be seen in believers in a greater way in suffering than in serving. Hypocrites can serve…real Christians can suffer.
V11 repeats, “We are always delivered unto death for Jesus sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” I think v 7 leads into the subject! Thank God “we have this treasure in earthen vessels” otherwise, we would not survive the “trouble on every side.”
Look at 2 Cor. 11:21-30 and notice all these words that describe Paul’s trouble: Stripes, prisons, deaths, beaten with rods, stoned, shipwreck, in the deep, in perils in his journeys, waters, robbers, by the Jews, heathen, in the city, in the country, in the wilderness, in the sea, among false brethren. He got weary, had pain, had to watch, got hungry, cold, went without comfortable clothing. If that was not enough, v28 he had a daily burden, “the care of all the Churches.”
How does a Christian survive “trouble on every side?”
- Remember, it is for Christ’s sake. 2 Cor. 4:10-11
- Remember, it will add power to your life and testimony. 2 Cor. 4:7, 12:9
- Remember, trouble on every side, even to death, will only make your life better and brighter. 2 Cor. 4:12-15
- Remember, what we suffer for a moment here, will work for eternity later. 2 Cor. 4:17
- Remember, all suffering is temporary for Christians. 2Cor. 4:18. Sickness is temporary; sorrow is temporary; separation is temporary; and even death for the true believer is temporary! 1 Pet. 4:13
- Finally, Remember, our suffering for Christ, can never equal His suffering for us! Rom. 8:18; Phil. 3:10 and Col. 1:24
Please read 1 Cor. 15:58 and be encouraged dear Christian.