Have you been tried in The fire
7 But we have this treasure in () earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of () the power will be of God and not from ourselves;
8 we are () afflicted in every way, but not () crushed; () perplexed, but not despairing;
9 () persecuted, but not () forsaken; () struck down, but not destroyed;
10 () always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that () the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
12 So death works in us, but life in you.
I. PAUL ACCEPTED THE
MINISTRY GOD GAVE HIM. 2 Cor 4:1
A. Paul's was not an easy ministry.
He was not accepted by the other Apostles for several years. He was constantly challenged and questioned even by the other Apostles throughout his ministry. He suffered shipwrecks and beatings and stonings and jailings, on a regular basis. But he accepted the ministry God gave him.
B. The context of this verse is in view of the trials he faced because of his ministry.
In chapter 3, Paul answers the question as to whether or not he needed to have a letter of commendation from the other Apostles. Paul's ministry was being attacked by some within the Corinthians church. And yet, despite all that, he simply writes, seeing we have this ministry... we faint not.
C. We would do well to learn from this to accept whatever ministry we have!
II. PAUL HAD A PROPER PERSPECTIVE
OF HIS PROBLEMS verses 8-9
These were the verses that got my attention to prepare this message. Paul make four contrasts here;
A. Troubled - not distressed The word troubled means to be crowded, pressured. The word distressed means to be in calamity. If I can, He is saying that he is squeezed, but not squished!
I have had some times when I wasn't sure which way to turn for a while, but I have never been so lost that I couldn't eventually get out of it!"
I was thinking Troubled, but not distressed. That looks to me to be in the soul.
B. Perplexed - not in Despair The word perplexed means "at a loss" The word despair means "completely lost"
Perplexed, but not in despair appears to me to be in the mind.
C. Persecuted - not forsaken The word persecuted means "hunted" The word forsaken means "deserted."
D. Cast down - not destroyed
What Paul is saying is, "Sure, I got problems, but I am not defeated!" "I have fallen a few times, but I have always been able to get back up!" "
Persecuted, but not forsaken is in the body.
Cast down, but not destroyed is in your very life.
In every aspect, of humanity, while there were trials, Paul recognized that the trials had not completely overwhelmed him. If we are going to hang in there. We too, must come to the place where we recognize that the trials we face, are not totally devastating!
They may hurt. We may not enjoy them We might have wished we hadn't had to go through them. But there isn't a one of them that has to destroy us! In fact, for the Christian, even the ultimate trial, that of losing our life, isn't really a defeat, but a victory!
Now, we face trials from many different angles.
Physical trials. When our bodies suffer.
Medically or whatever.
Social trials. When we suffer maybe at work or with our relationships outside of church And
Spiritual trials. When we suffer because of our faith, and for our faith, and in the service of our faith.
But we need to keep them in perspective and remember, THEY COULD BE WORSE!
Paul comforted the Hebrews, and challenged them to go on for the Lord despite their problems by saying to them, "Ye have not resisted unto blood, striving against sin." (Heb 12:4) Paul kept on going for God, and finished his course, because he kept his problems in perspective and didn't allow them to overwhelm him.
Paul told it like it was and if you don’t tell it like it is you have misused the gospel paul in every situation eveb in Acts chapter 19 when he had to called the leader into question Peter to account Paul told it like it was.
In spite of the some are deaf and blind to the gospel even when it is told how it is folks will listen and not hear.
Loosing is a word that can be used to literally cut away all that is a stronghold. Strongholds keep us from the truth and the Word of God. We must grow from strongholds that keep us from knowing God. In a relationship with God, strongholds cannot last. We need to bind our will to God in our lives to break down the strongholds in our minds. The soul will only accept what we allow it to accept. We must kill the "un-surrendered" soul.
Folks will get on busses going to get loosed!
If you want to be loosed you better go to Jesus! Jesus can loose you and let you grow ,Don’t let the God of this world blind you.
Satan will have you doing things you think are right and you are killing yourself. He’ll make you see things that are not there, he’ll convince you that what you are doing is all right. The God of this world. In this world there is a power of evil.You have to understand the reality of Satan before you can see the power of God,
Satan is trying to rob me of my life , rob me of my relationship with Christ, he is always there when you think you got it made satan will show up. don’t think you reached a level that satan has crossed you off his list.Satan going to try you he tried Job upright righteous take hedge down.
there was times when satan had me hemmed in trapped set and I was ready to take the bait but God! Satan will try you for your life.
you have experienced this going along and the idea to do something wrong...right make left,tried to get me not to preach this sermon!
We’ll understand it better by and by Careful you can meet satan at the church house get enough at bar you don't know where you going or where you are so Satan comes to the church house,
III. PAUL HAD HIS EYES FIXED ON THE RIGHT THINGS.
Verses 10-18 There are three things I want to point out to you in these verses, in reverse order from how they are listed in the chapter:
We need to
A. Look at the Eternal, not the Temporal.
verse 18 So many of our troubles could be resolved if we had our eyes on heaven, not earth.
I understand how difficult that is. I struggle with it every single moment of my life. Paul said in Romans "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us."
And all he was saying was that we ought to look for the heavenly/eternal things, not the earthly/temporal things!
Jesus said Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal.
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal . What he was saying was that we ought to look for the heavenly/eternal things, not the earthly/temporal things.
Much of the reason we struggle with the Christian life, and one of the reasons some give up on their course, is that they get their eyes fixed on how things are today. Right no
If that is how Paul looked at things,
***He wouldn't have been willing to give up his career in the Pharisee's religion for Christ. ***And he wouldn't have been willing to give up his Pastor associate pastor's position in Antioch to be a missionary church planter.
***And he wouldn't have been willing to give up his freedom to be a blessing to the poor saints in Jerusalem
***And he wouldn't have been willing to give up his life, to keep his testimony for Jesus Christ!
You going to need somebody who has all power , make a way out of nowhere
Paul could hang in there because his eyes were fixed on heavenly/eternal things, not earthly/temporal things! He was content to suffer some losses here in order to have more rewards waiting in heaven!
We need Jesus in our life
B. Look at others, not self
Verse 12 Paul was willing to go through the trials that he did, and hang in their for the Lord Because he was concerned more for others than he was for himself. Paul was the one who went so far as to say that he could wish himself accursed from
Christ that his kinsmen, the Jews would be saved. Paul said he became all things to all men that he might by all means save some.
Paul's concern in life was not for himself and how he faired physically, but for others and how they faired spiritually! He was willing to suffer any trial any hardship any difficulty so long as he was still seeing souls being saved and given eternal; life in Jesus Christ!
Don’t look at me in spite of the heavenly treasure that God has placed in this vessel I still fall short. Look at Jesus.
Nobody can rob me of my Joy!
J Jesus first
O Others second
Y Yourself last
I understand that is the opposite of what every thing in this world tells you. But joy comes from putting Jesus first, other next, and ourselves last! That helps us keep our problems in perspective too, when we see how others are doing!
THERE IS ALWAYS SOMEONE WHO HAS IT TOUGHER THAN YOU DO! Find them, and help them, AND YOU WILL FIND NOT ONLY JOY, but the strength to hang in there and finish the course God gave you.
Jesus came to earth in a form where man could see and understsnd God seen me seen the Father
Brought woman to Jesus caught act of adultery ought to die what do you say like Pilot never said a word...spoke through his action stooped down and began to write , while writing everyone asked the question what do you say stood up when time is right he will stand up. if your burdens sre heavy this morning God wants me to tell you when the time is right he will stand up.
When you’ve gone as far as you can go and done all that you can He will stand up in your life. i’m a witness Jesus stood up and Jesus told them the woman has sinned and the law says she ought to die
I have no problem with the law I just seem to have a problem with the executioner
I need some body who has never sinned always walked upright all their life
somebody who never has sinned somebody always been what they ought to have been , somebody who has never lied , stole. adultery .
done nothing wrong to cast the first stone
one by one the left won’t God put you in front of the mirror make you look at yourself make you see yourself won’t Jesus fix it for you
woman has no man condemend you no Lord neither do I go and sin no more get up off the ground you been there to long stand up let me brush you off with dignity. I’m glad one Sunday morning he picked me up placed my feet on solid ground
C. Look at Christ's Living, not dying.
vs 11 One of the differences you'll find between us and the Catholics is that they use a cross with Christ still hanging there. We use a cross with Christ come off it.
While we do not want to minimize what Christ did when He died on the Cross we also don't want to get stuck there. Christ not only died and was buried...
HE ROSE AGAIN HE ROSE TRIUMPHANT HE ROSE VICTORIOUS, and HE ROSE GLORIFIED And His triumph translates to our triumph today His victory translates to our victory today,And his glory works for our glory too!
God that he has served has not treated him fairly. Let's see:
Shipwrecked. Snake Bit. Accused. Arrested. Banished. Troubled. Attempted Assassinations , I’ve Loss of Friends
Loss of Reputation Rejection by other Believers Rejection by other Preachers Social outcast ...But
But no matter what happens to me now.
No matter what people try to take from me.
No matter how lonely the nights become.
No matter how dark it gets.
No matter how death looks to me.
No matter how bad the conditions may be.
No matter how my name is hung on the highway.
No matter how much trouble is before me.
No matter how many people turn from me.
No matter how deep the situation looks.
I'm standing on his promises!
I'm living on his promises!
I'm trusting on his promises!
The Lord, The Lord
1The LORD is my ()shepherd,
I shall ()not want.
2He makes me lie down in ()green pastures;
He ()leads me beside ()quiet waters.
3He ()restores my soul;
He ()guides me in the ()paths of righteousness
For His name's sake.
4Even though I ()walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I ()fear no evil, for ()You are with me;
Your ()rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5You ()prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have ()anointed my head with oil;
My ()cup overflows.
6Surely ()goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will ()dwell in the house of the LORD forever.