Persevering

2 Corinthians 6:3-10 ESV

We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.

We who share the gospel of Jesus Christ, for the salvation of all who would believe, need to be living lives which are above reproach.

This does not mean we will be perfect, but that we need to daily, by the Spirit, be putting sin and self to death. Daily we need to be putting on the armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s evil attacks against us. Daily we need to be purifying our hearts, walking according to the Spirit, and no longer walking according to the flesh, living to fulfill its evil desires. Then, no one should have cause to accuse us of anything, nor should we be a stumbling block to those who are also walking this Christian life and witness.

Yet, this does not mean that we won’t be misunderstood or accused falsely or mistreated because of our walks of faith with Jesus Christ and for our testimonies for him. Yet, when we are mistreated, misunderstood, and accused falsely, our consciences will be clear, because we know that we are walking with the Lord in obedience to him, and that we are doing his will.

Satan wants nothing more than to destroy us, though, in any which way that he can. If he can’t get us to sin against God, he will attack us in many different ways in order to break us emotionally, to wear us down, and to try to dishearten and to discourage us, because he hopes that we will give up. But, we can’t give in to him. When we are under attack, we need to cry out to God in our distress and allow his grace to meet us in our time of need.

Satan, too, will use circumstances in our lives, or people in our lives, to hurt us, to tire us, to wear us down, and to attempt to defeat us in so many ways, but we can’t give in to him. We have to keep calling on our Lord to rescue us, to minister his grace to our hearts, to comfort, help and keep us in his love. We have to pray through these trials and these difficulties, and cry out our pain and suffering so that the Lord can lift us up, and so he can fill us with his joy. And, we have to keep fighting off the lies with the truth.

As well, we have to keep telling the truth, even when falsely accused, and even when misunderstood or treated unfairly. We have to remain transparent and sincere. And, we have to keep loving others and forgiving them, because that is right, and because this is how Jesus treats us.

It is hard, though, to not be believed. It is difficult to not have support. And, it is doubly painful to be treated as an enemy when you are a friend, and when you are truly loving others with Christ’s love. Yet, these are all things that Jesus went through for you and for me so that we could be delivered from our slavery to sin and be able to walk in fellowship with our Lord.

Yet, there is no hardship, suffering, or injustice that we are going through that Jesus did not also go through in one way or another. So, he feels our pain. He knows what it is like to not be believed, or to be called a liar, or to be treated like the enemy. He knows what it is like to be abandoned, betrayed, deserted, denied and rejected by his closest companions. So, he empathizes with us in our suffering, and he is there to give us comfort, and to strengthen us, too, so that we can carry on in doing what he has called us to do, in the joy of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 6:11-13 ESV

We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also.

Not everyone we love is going to love us back. Not everyone with whom we share the gospel of Jesus Christ is going to open their hearts to us, to hear what we have to say, or open their hearts to Jesus, to receive his free gift of salvation from sin. And, not everyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ is going to love us back or receive our words or open their hearts to us, either.

For, when we are truly transparent and honest, and we don’t wear masks, or put on shows, or try to say what is going to get us liked, but we speak the truth in love to others for their salvation, and for their walks of faith with Jesus Christ, there will be some or many who will shut us out, and who will close their hearts to us, because they don’t want to hear the truth.

For, so many people these days, it would seem, just want to keep everything light and fluffy, fun and entertaining, and on a surface level, but often fake and superficial. They don’t want anyone to see into their hearts, to see what is really going on in their lives. So, sometimes they make everything a joke, or they feel like they have to entertain, and it is so that their hearts will not be exposed, but everything kept hidden.

So, if you are one who is sincere, honest, transparent, with a pure heart, and with genuine love for others, the kind of love Jesus has for us, you may find yourself and your heart getting stomped on regularly or dismissed or even rebuked, for people may misjudge your motives or they may see you as a threat to the sanctity of their masks that they choose to wear.

So, this is a call to all those who are holding back their hearts from the Lord, and thus from his servants, too, to open wide your hearts to receive the truth from God’s words which can save your souls from hell and which can give you eternal life with God.

It is a call, too, for all who profess faith in Jesus Christ, but who are holding on to sin in their lives, and thus are withholding their hearts from the Lord, to open wide your hearts to the Lord and to his messengers who are bringing you the truth of God’s Word. Open your hearts wide to receive from the Lord and from his Word all that he has for you. Forsake your sins and your idols, and trust Jesus Christ fully with your lives.

2 Corinthians 7:5-6a ESV

For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn—fighting without and fear within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us.

But, even if they should not open their hearts to us, and many reject us, mistreat us, abandon and betray us, we need to not let that take us out. We need to not give in to fear of the “what ifs.” We just need to keep looking to the Lord, crying out to him in our suffering, and trust him to comfort us with his love and mercy. And, we need to keep on keeping on in the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in doing what he has called us to do, and all for his glory and praise. For, our work will be rewarded.

I Will Lift My Eyes

An Original Work / December 12, 2012
Based off Psalms 121-125

I will lift my eyes to my Lord Most High.
My help comes from Him, who saved me from sin.
He will not let your foot slip, and He who watches will not sleep.
Our Lord watches over you, and your life He will keep.
I will lift my eyes to my Lord Most High.
My help comes from Him, who saved me from sin.
I give thanks to Him.

I will lift my eyes to my God in heav’n.
I look to the Lord. My sins, He’s forgiv’n.
Because of His great love for us, He made us alive with Christ.
Through the kindness of our Savior, He gave us new life.
I will lift my eyes to my God in heav’n.
I look to the Lord. My sins, He’s forgiv’n;
My home, now in heav’n.

Praise be to the Lord, who is on our side.
Our help found in Him. He gives peace within.
Those who trust will ne’er be shaken. God will supply all we need.
Our Lord has done great things for us. He’s our friend, indeed!
Praise be to the Lord, who is on our side.
Our help found in Him. He gives peace within.
I can count on Him.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

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