Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Quality Struggle

There are times when I feel so weak and incapable, trapped in a body that does not function as I want it to.  Not mentally.  Not physically.  Not spiritually.  It's somewhere during these times that the fact of my new creation birth—I'm a spirit in a body—becomes terribly evident to me, and I long for my true home.  That’s a good longing, but I’m not sure I like the way it comes about.  Do you ever feel this way?  We are aliens here, but I'd rather read about it in the New Testament than actually feel it.  I like feeling the power of God, the love and life of God Himself now in me.  But feel the sufferings and the struggles that identify me as not fitting in with this world?  I’d rather pass.

And yet, they do identify you and me in the pain and frustration as the sons and daughters of God, heaven-born citizens, foreign royalty in this world.  For real.  Knowing that, we are renewed and transformed in the understanding.  That's good.  That’s gold.  Frankly, this is why many of us love hearing how others find God in the midst of suffering.  It redeems the suffering into something more, something better than just suffering endured.

In 2 Corinthians 4, the apostle Paul kind of spilled out on paper what the Spirit was showing him in suffering, even likening himself to a fragile, clay pot with the greatest of treasure within—God Himself.  Summing up his findings, he wrote to the heavenly colony at Corinth: 

2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart.  (That doesn’t mean our hearts don’t feel challenged or hurt.) Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.  (Italics mine.)

Even in weakness, trapped in a sometimes rebellious and unruly, clay pot body, God is working in you.  So don’t believe the lie that your struggles identify you as a perpetual struggler only, disqualified and doomed.  They do not.  You have been qualified completely by God who is working His life within you in the struggle—the life without beginning and without end.  This is eternal life, and it takes some getting used to. 

This is the game we’re in and these are the days we’re enduring for His glory in us—the evidence of God in us.  It’s a quality struggle.

(This a transcript of yesterday’s video, “A Quality Struggle,” and is for those who might rather read than watch.  To see the video, click http://youtu.be/sdo58Tq4IcI, or simply scroll down this page.)

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