Sunday, December 19, 2010

2 Corinthians 4

THEREFORE, SINCE we do hold and engage in this ministry by the mercy of God [granting us favor, benefits, opportunities, and especially salvation], we do not get discouraged (spiritless and despondent with fear) or become faint with weariness and exhaustion....For God ... has shone in our hearts ...the Light for the illumination of the knowledge of the majesty and glory of God [as it is manifest in the Person and is revealed] in the face of Jesus Christ (the Messiah)....However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves....For all [these] things are [taking place] for your sake, so that the more grace (divine favor and spiritual blessing) extends to more and more people and multiplies through the many, the more thanksgiving may increase [and redound] to the glory of God.
    THEREFORE we do not become discouraged (utterly spiritless, exhausted, and wearied out through fear). Though our outer man is [progressively] decaying and wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day after day.  For our light, momentary affliction (this slight distress of the passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory [beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!],

Since we have the Ministry of the Spirit, we do not give up, get discouraged or bail out for God has let us in on His glory through His Son Jesus Christ.  As mere mortal partakers, we are so obviously un-God-like that His glory in us, to us and through us shows to be His and not ours which yields more grace to more people causing more gratitude for more God-glory.

Since the Kingdom is spiraling up in God-glory, grace, citizens, gratitude and God-glory...we do not give up, get discouraged or bail out.  This steadfast attitude is despite the suffering, persecution, hardship, discomfort and decay endured by the physical being as the trauma and drama of this life does not compare to the everlasting and glorious spiritual future...which is where we look rather than at our circumstances.

Paul states the we don't give up because of the Ministry of the Spirit and the grace and glory which the Ministry (in us, to us and through us) is accomplishing.  The "giving up" is not an option...not "we try a bit harder" nor "we take some time off and give it another go" nor "rethink the course".  Paul says no giving up.  

The scenarios he describes are terribly worse than the reality of my life.  He and those first century faith-folk, (my spiritual relatives), did not give up.  Fact.  Why, then, am I so given to despair?  Insecurity?  Going AWOL?  None of that is an option.  They spoke because they believed.  And it was for the benefit of others.  What do I do that is for the benefit of cost to myself?  Some of their receipts from life showed that they were pressed on every side by troubles,  perplexed, hunted down, knocked down, under constant danger of death for others gain, (myself included).

God, help me not want to despair or bail out of the plans you have for me.   Help me not try and get answers or solutions from the world for scenarios You have destined for me.  I've read about the banks and companies which were bailed-out and see how people talk about them with scorn and even recognize that ownership has been transferred (all the while, it seems the actual problems have not been solved).   Holy Spirit, please keep me from running to man's wisdom to relieve the pressures, troubles, questions, pursuits, prejudices and dangers that I might not transfer any ownership or allegiance of myself to another nor seek to circumvent situations which have been designed to bring You glory, display Your grace, expand the citizenship of Your Kingdom, cause great thanksgiving to You and repeat.  I am accepted in the Beloved, Who was scorned and died for me...let me live it.

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