Easter - 2018

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

What is the standard of the follower of Jesus?

One of the things which cause doubt in Paul's ministry was the amount of suffering Paul endured for the faith. In other words, people began to ask how can God be with the Apostle, if he is forced to endure such hardships and suffering? The modern culture remains just as doubtful. Shouldn't the follower of God possess a special dispensation of grace which empowers the believer to avoid such pitfalls?

Paul responds to such accusations by turning the worldly view on it side and pointing to a crucified Jesus. It is through suffering which prove Paul's service. It is through surrender to the suffering Messiah comes the discovery of the power of God and the consequential conquering of death. Paul writes: "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body." (NASB 2 Co 4:7–10). Paul's suffering is the mark of Jesus on his life.

Those who follow Jesus in a vocational work or in a volunteer work can relate to Paul's words. It is the believers mantra to agree with Paul in 2 Cor. 12.10: "Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong." (NASB 2 Co 12:10). In my weakness, I learn to trust in God's abilities to work on behalf.

God is not about to stop being God. I am glad and praise him for carrying us through each and every struggle. You know I love ya, Don