The Apostle Paul writes,
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;” (2Cor 4:8-9).
There are days I feel afflicted, perplexed, driven to despair, persecuted, and struck down.
There are times when I feel as if a business has mistreated me. There are times when fellow volunteers have used me, accused me, and lied about me. There are times when I felt unheeded and unneeded. There were times when I have been overlooked, passed-over, and walked over. There are times when my efforts were not appreciated and times when my efforts failed. There are times when family and friends suffer and I can do nothing about it. The world is not always good to me.
Neither are my fellow Christians. There are times when my brothers and sisters in Christ have hurt me. Sometimes intentionally, but most often unintentionally. As a minister, I know that some love me, some do not like me, and some tolerate me. I am too loud and too quiet. I am not friendly enough and too friendly. I shouldn’t visit as much and I don’t visit enough. I use too much technology when I preach and I don’t use enough technology. What I say encourages and what I say hurts feelings.
I am not perfect. I know this better than anyone. I make mistakes and have my weaknesses. There are moments when I know I have fallen. I have hurt others. In my life I have disappointed family and more importantly – God.
But I am not finished.
I am not crushed. I am not driven to despair. I am not forsaken, and I am not destroyed!
I am a child of God walking by faith and not by sight. I may be an earthen vessel, but I am being crafted by the Potter and His skilled hands. I might even be a misshaped or a cracked pot, but I have a treasure in me. That treasure is Christ. Because of Him and through Him I am made flawless – without spot or blemish (Eph 5:27). He is renewing my true self daily. That means my struggles here on earth are temporary as I look toward becoming like Him in glory (2Cor 4:16-17).
I am in good company. The same Paul who wrote these words in 2 Corinthians and referred to himself as the chief of sinners (1Tim 1:15) also said,
“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (2Tim 4:6-8).
Hang in there, Scott.
Speaking of flawless. Take a moment to enjoy MercyMe: