"4Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; 5in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 6in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; 8through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; 9known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything." - 2 Cor 6:4-10
I’ve met people who told me that they have never suffered in their entire life, and were proud of it. Much of the rhetoric in the world is about comfort, convenience, success, and pleasure, and unfortunately it is what the church desires - and it got what it wanted. Yet, the church has everything, yet possesses nothing. But if your life is anything like mine, it has been riddled with perplexing suffering, baffling hardship, and trials that I had to face all alone. I’ve learned that the life of God in the soul of a man is quite different. It proclaims that “we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.”
You have no idea how I am so deeply nourished by God’s word in these verses. I am so grateful to God, and Apostle Paul. It is likely, Apostle Paul is so looked up to by the church - but wouldn’t touch his life with a 10-foot pole. To stay faithful to this love that compels him, Paul endured bruisings, battering, beatings, and being bloodied. What did God put in Apostle Paul that was so strong, powerful, loving - that had the power to overcome all the devil’s schemes and power?! What caused him to say, despite all the sufferings, that he glories in tribulation?! What caused him to say, that he has nothing, yet possess everything? It is because of one simple answer: Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God lived in side of Paul. This Jesus inside of Paul was EVERYTHING to him, and so it is with me.
Thank you, Jesus. No matter how hard life is, all I have to do is look down on the blood stained path. Someone has gone before me on this hard life. All I have to do is follow the precious blood, and I will find my way. Thank you, Apostle Paul, because now, I too can say, I have nothing, yet possess everything.