Have you ever felt drained from life? No, I’m talking about feeling as if life was sucking the life out of you? Every time you think you are making progress, something from an unexpected source, feels as if it is pulling the oxygen from your lungs. Even more so, when you decided to completely surrender your life to the the Lord, you were hit and hurt on every angle.
The Lord always provides us with examples of affliction, sufferings, patient endurance and triumph. In 2 Corinthians the 11th chapter, we learn of some of Paul’s sufferings for Christ Sake:
- 5 different times, he was whipped by the jews and received 39 stripes
- 3 times he was beaten with rods.
- He was stoned once.
- He shipwrecked 3 times.
- He spent an entire day and night adrift at sea, left for dead.
- He had been robbed, gone without food and water and enough clothing to keep him warm.
One beating alone could have handicapped or even killed Paul. Yet after allllll of this, Paul says: “I believe God.” Paul looked beyond his personal afflictions and recognized his sufferings equipped him to help others.
Paul endured many afflictions, but He did not care. He went from being an atheist to an activist of Jesus. I felt something right there- I’ll say that again:
PAUL WENT FROM BEING AN ATHEIST TO AN ACTIVIST!
What about you? After all the hardships, pains and tragedies in life, will you believe God? Or will you give up at the sign of struggle or the moment your prayer isn’t immediately answered? After all, Jesus told us:
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
You will be faced with many situations. In fact, you go through more as a Christian, but don’t you dare move. You better adopt an attitude like Jacob. He wrestled with the angel and told Him: “I won’t let go until you bless me!” (Genesis 32-22-32)
Can I tell you why you are going through? The enemy is a hater. He has been in the presence of God. He knows what it is like. So he like: “pshhh, well if I can’t go to heaven and get no mansion already prepared (John 14:1-3)- ain’t nobody going.” The enemy plays trick on your mind to make you believe that you are in a worse state after surrendering to the Lord than before.
Can I help you with something? If you are partaking in the sufferings of Christ, for Christ-sake, you are also partners in comfort. When my children come down with a fever or their body is limp from a winter cold, my husband and I do whatever is necessary to comfort them. We are rubbing them with Vick’s vapor rub, placing towels on their forehead, holding them at night, allowing them to sleep with us, and sacrificing any rest we thought we needed to check on them throughout the evening.
If we as earthly parents, go through great lengths to comfort our children, OH MY FATHER! Do you realize the great lengths our Heavenly Father demonstrates towards us, to comfort us? In fact, He sends warnings and distress signals BEFORE the storm approaches. Oftentimes His comfort is muted because we seek for comfort in people. We do not run to our Father.
All of my devotions are me just partnering with you. We labor together. When I wrote this one this morning, bae bae…I made myself happy. As I encourage myself, I am also encouraging you. We are comforting partners of the hope and grace that has been given to us through Jesus Christ. The world may press us hard, but God’s strength, presence, and comfort will not allow us to be crushed.
“May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed! He is the compassionate Father and God of all comfort. He’s the one who comforts us in all our trouble so that we can comfort other people who are in every kind of trouble. We offer the same comfort that we ourselves received from God. That is because we receive so much comfort through Christ in the same way that we share so many of Christ’s sufferings. So if we have trouble, it is to bring you comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, it is to bring you comfort from the experience of endurance while you go through the same sufferings that we also suffer. Our hope for you is certain, because we know that as you are partners in suffering, so also you are partners in comfort.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 CEB