The circumstances begin to circle us like a vulture. They close in on us squeezing out the sunlight, like the midday slamming of a cellar door. The accusations from the enemy sound louder in these conditions. We tremble. He snickers.
It takes time for us to learn to ask the Lord what He would have us know, what He wants us to learn in and by these circumstances. To seek the eye of His perception, which will bring peace; rather than depending on the lens of our own emotions and opinions and fears, which will bring agitation and squirming, and sometimes resentment of Him. The peace that He gives is not as the world gives. The circumstances do not always change, much to our initial chagrin. The storm may very well continue to stir dangerously about us. But the core of our being has been settled by the Heavenly One who has spoken to our hearts. When we first experience this peace, and possibly for a long time of our journey, we may not be able to verbalize why it is well with our soul. For when it is the risen and very much alive Christ settling us, our words don’t get thrown out verbatim with the masses. It is humbling to be in His Presence. This is a cosmic shifting, beloved. From a heart of distrust and self-sufficiency to a heart of faith and trust in the Lover of our souls. Oh the sovereign work of our Father to bring us there!
2 Corinthians chapter 4 verses 7-11 can interpret these times for us very well; helping us to see the purpose of where we are, where He has placed us. For our good and His glory. It is imperative that we ask His help in bringing these words from the context of Paul’s life circumstances right into our own. We must not leave them on the page. It is the Spirit’s eternal pleasure to be the Revealer of Heavenly realities.
But this beautiful treasure is contained in us—cracked pots made of earth and clay—so that the transcendent character of this power will be clearly seen as coming from God and not from us. We are cracked and chipped from our afflictions on all sides, but we are not crushed by them. We are bewildered at times, but we do not give in to despair. We are persecuted, but we have not been abandoned. We have been knocked down, but we are not destroyed. We always carry around in our bodies the reality of the brutal death and suffering of Jesus. As a result, His resurrection life rises and reveals its wondrous power in our bodies as well. For while we live, we are constantly handed over to death on account of Jesus so that His life may be revealed even in our mortal bodies of flesh. 2 Corinthians 4:7-11 The Voice
We are cracked and chipped from our afflictions on all sides, but we are not crushed by them.
We are bewildered at times, but we do not give in to despair.
We are persecuted, but we have not been abandoned.
We have been knocked down, but we are not destroyed.
This is not our old nature with its self-sufficiency and positive thinking doing its best to keep the wolves-of-life at bay. This is not a motivational speaker looking to cheer on a crowd. This was written by a man to whom God had given a revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ; what Christ accomplished, Who Christ is, and what that means for, in, and through us. We do not read these words and strive to make them true about us in our own effort! We do not simply respond with an amen and expect the Life in these Scriptures to be made our own. This must be God’s revelation to us as well, then worked in to us; and it is our yielding to the loving hands of a sovereign God which will bring the power of what Paul wrote here into our own lives, whatever the circumstances may be.
It couldn’t possibly be stated all the various & sundry ways that believer’s lives are handed over to death. Not always literally! Let’s not get stuck thinking that! As we go on with the Lord, every last thing we have used in our flesh as a means to sustain us will be touched by His loving & sovereign Hand. Beloved, if you have walked any distance with Him you may already know what this feels like…it feels like death. But the death of our old nature, the death of our self-sufficiency, the death of all that we once used to sustain us, this is not the end! Oh no! This is merely the beginning!
It is here now that I must walk gently, for a messenger cannot give beyond what they themselves have been given. It is from a position of faith and trust that I now write because it is on the edge of these words this life now walks. As Paul states in verse 10, it is as a result of our carrying around in our bodies the reality of Jesus’ death that His resurrection life rises and reveals its wondrous power in our bodies as well. Oh, beloved, that is a power beyond anything that the strongest, most courageous human in their own nature can provide or muster up. His resurrection life is the life of One Who has defeated the enemy on every level, it is the power of an endless life…this is what we are able to walk in when we accept the afflictions and bewilderment’s and knocking down’s as coming from His loving Hand of sovereignty. Oh how easy it is to view these as His displeasure with us – Father save us from that mindset! When something is allowed into our lives, it is His loving Hand of sovereignty that will work all things out for good to us who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
Not everyone will understand! This is not something that the flesh can conceive of, no! This will be a costly and lonely path as far as this world is concerned, but it is one that our Forerunner forged for us; and we are in resurrection union with Christ as we walk it. There is no safer place than that.