God’s Hope for Your Heart from 2 Corinthians 11

JESUS IS WORTH IT

Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one.  Three times I was beaten with rods.  Once I was stoned.  Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.  And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.  (2 Corinthians 11:24-28)

The way of Jesus is filled with incredible joy and blessing, but also brings its share of suffering.  To follow Christ is to walk in the abundant favor of God, but sometimes His blessings come wrapped in packages of pain.

Your enemy will tell you it’s because God doesn’t love you, but that’s a lie.  Your enemy will tell you that you failed in your part or didn’t have enough faith for God to bless you, but that’s a lie.

The truth is, sometimes God’s greatest gifts come in surprising forms.  Even Jesus Himself came unexpectedly, in a way filled with difficulty and pain.

But Jesus is worth it!

The biggest blessing of all is not a comfortable set of circumstances, but a greater closeness to Christ.  The greatest joy of all comes not through God putting all the pieces of your life in the order you demand, but in His gracious drawing of your heart into a deeper relationship with Jesus.

Whatever sacrifices you’ve made to follow Christ, it’s worth it.  Whatever pain you feel as you choose to follow Him instead of the ways of the world, it’s worth it!

Don’t let Satan make you give up, and don’t let suffering bring you down.  No matter how hard it gets, may you be propelled towards Christ by the hope of this courage-building truth:  Jesus is worth it.

-Pastor Phillip


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