Paul was an often beat-up, sometimes beat-down guy. I’m not making light of his sufferings. Jesus gave his life for our salvation, but Paul gave his life for the church. His philosophy is summed up in Ephesians 5:25, “Christ gave his life for the church and how can I do any less?”
There’s only a couple of places in his writings where Paul lets us see and hear the heartache and discouragement he sometimes faced and felt. In today’s reading he lets us peek in for a moment as he talks about his sufferings for the high calling of God.
Yet the resounding message here is confidence:
· “My great trust in God through Christ gives me confidence.”
· “The new covenant gives me confidence.”
· “The Holy Spirit’s presence in my life gives me confidence.”
· “The promise of the resurrection gives me confidence.”
The real issue here is confidence—whether things are going well or the roof is caving in. I want to be as confident when things are bad as when things are good. I want the confidence that comes from the spirit of Christ inside and not from the circumstances outside.
Father, When I read Paul’s encouraging, challenging words and see his confidence in you, in your faithfulness, your eternal plan, I feel like a little kid just starting the faith-life. But maybe that isn’t so bad after all. Because I am your child and you are my loving, caring, faithful Father, and my only hope—my only confidence is in you! I purpose, like my older brother Paul, to remain fully confident—confident in you alone! Amen!
We Are Confident
Reading: Corinthians 3; Psalm 6
We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. (2 Corinthians 3:4 NLT)
Since this new covenant gives us such confidence, we can be very bold. (2 Corinthians 3:12 NLT)
So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:6 NLT)
Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:8 NLT)
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