2 Corinthians 7:5—In fact, when we came into Macedonia, we had no rest. Instead, we were troubled in every way: conflicts on the outside, fears inside.
There is an old proverb, “Misery loves company.” No one wants to suffer alone unless it is with a heightened knowledge that others are spared. Understanding that we are not alone when we traverse tough times can in many ways bolster our morale. This is yet another reason why Scripture is so powerful. It gives us hope when we are discouraged.
Paul entered into Macedonia because of a night vision. A man appeared to him pleading that he would come and help. Concluding this was a call from God to bring the gospel, he and his team traveled to Philippi, a leading city in that district. Almost immediately, he was aggravated by the incessant work of a demon. When he confronted this annoying spirit the end result was a mob attack, a severe beating with rods and a night of imprisonment (see Acts 16:9-24). When Paul wrote the Corinthians that they “had no rest” and were “troubled in every way,” he was not exaggerating.
Does it seem fair that God would lead us into some venture where the result is turmoil? If this is our conclusion immediately we know our thinking is off. God never called us to fairness. He called us to obedience. There will be times when the path He prescribes is the path of hardship. We don’t hear this taught much because it is an unpopular message. Yet, if God’s people expect life to be easy because they are His children, when trials come their faith is bashed and their ability to endure compromised.
Character is not forged in easy living. Savior-following is not a peaceful journey. Jesus warned His followers that by identifying with Him they would themselves become targets for suffering (John 15:20, 16:2,33). Yet in the course of meeting adversity, if we remember that Jesus suffered and His apostles suffered, we are fortified in that knowledge to press forward. Outer pain and inner fears will not destroy us! God sees our turmoil and He brings victory. “But God, who comforts the humble, comforted us by the arrival of Titus, and not only by his arrival, but also by the comfort he received from you. He told us about your deep longing, your sorrow, and your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced even more” (2 Co. 7:6,7). If you are in turmoil—don’t give up. God knows your situation and He will give you what you need to continue! He will fill you with the joy that can only come through His Holy Spirit.
A Christian is one who can live in the midst of the trouble and turmoil with the glory of God indwelling him, while he steadfastly looks not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.—Oswald Chambers in The Message of Invincible Consolation
©2013 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)