2 Corinthians 4:16-17
"Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison."
One question has been at the forefront of my mind lately: what gives saints (and by saints, I mean followers of Christ) joy through physical suffering? I have seen saints with such perseverance in Christ that joy pervades their being in a powerful and brazen witness to those around them. Yet I have feel as though I have barely persevered in this fight against chronic pain, and also keenly feel my own general lack of joy through it. So I keep returning to God with that question. What am I missing?
My last post (God's Gift) was a partial answer to this question, and today's post may make more sense if you've read it first. God revealed this second crucial piece to me today: I deserve eternal death. I deserve worse than anything this life can throw at me (which, it actually can't do apart from my Father allowing it for our good and His glory). This pain is better than I deserve.
I've known this before, but He had to remind me, and once I did, such joy flooded me! This life is better than eternal death, and when I do finally die, I get to enjoy eternal life with Christ! Pain itself is the opposite of enjoyable, but it is better than I deserve, and it has no real power, but instead serves God as He works all things together for our good and His glory. According to God's grace, Christ has redeemed me, and what I deserve no longer matters, except to remind me of my joy in Him!
In that lies the victory, the power, and the JOY of the God I serve. I fervently pray for that joy to fill me so intensely that those around me can't miss it! May Jesus Christ be praised!