Is your situation pressing in on you?
Do not push it away, for they are from the Potter’s hands. You will learn to master them not by stopping its progress, but by enduring through its discipline. Your circumstances are not only shaping you into a vessel of beauty and honor, but also providing you with great resources of value. *
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the power might be of God, and NOT OF US. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in this body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.” **
For us missionaries, Paul’s confession becomes real life experience day by day, by His grace. Once they were “just facts” of the Bible, and received as God’s truth. But now, we are learning to reckon them as “His truth,” yet ours, for we get to experience them on a daily basis. By His grace we can make this our own confession. Paul’s truth has been made personal to us through the difficulties that serve as His faith tests.
Reading through the end of chapter 4 and continuing on Chapter 5:1- 9, the truth that a Christian’s life is a “walk by faith and not by sight,” becomes a reality we share with one another in the mission field. It is a daily walk with our Lord Jesus, relying only on Him to provide everything that is needed to build “His house.”
Loving Him, so we may continue loving others.
In this we labor, going and telling the world that is lost in its faith translation, explaining to every man and teaching every man the Jesus who is both the Son of God and the Son of Man, the God-man who so loved the world…that He gave…”for the love of Christ constrains us.”
* L.B. Cowman in “Streams in the Desert”
**2 Corinthians 4: 8-10, 2 Cor 5:7, 14a