2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (ESV)
8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.
Did Jesus suffer? Was he sometimes lonely? Was he tempted to be discouraged? Was he misunderstood, maligned, and criticized unjustly?
Of course! None of us are exempt from suffering, loneliness, discouragement, or unjust criticism, because God is developing within us the character of Christ, and, in order to do this, he must take us through all of the circumstances in life through which he took Christ.
Does this mean God causes tragedies? No. God is good, and he will not cause evil or do evil. But God can use dark and stressful times for good. He'll use them to teach us to trust him, to show us how to help others, and to draw us closer to other believers.
The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:8b-9, “We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead”.
So, what should you do when you’re going through difficult times?
First, you refuse to be discouraged. Then, you remember God is with you. Finally, you rely on God’s protection and guidance.
We all go through difficult times. The difference for those who believe in Jesus is not the absence of the shadow but the presence of the Light.
Dear Lord, we thank You for being the light in our dark world. We pray that we would focus on the light rather than the darkness. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
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