February 24, 2023
by Pastor Chuck SwindollScriptures: 2 Corinthians 4:8–11
Yesterday, we learned that God's servants have no special powers in themselves. Thinking they do is our first misconception. Our adequacy comes from God alone. Another misconception is that servants don't struggle with everyday problems.
Yesterday, we learned that God's servants have no special powers in themselves. Thinking they do is our first misconception. Our adequacy comes from God alone.
Another misconception is that servants don't struggle with everyday problems. To set that straight, let's consider 2 Corinthians 4:8–9:
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:8–9)
Afflicted. Perplexed. Persecuted. Struck down. These terms reflect the struggles common to all of us. Under stress, confused, pursued, rejected—Paul (and every servant since his day) understands what it means to endure the constant blast of problems. In fact, it is in the crucible that the servant learns to release his or her way for God's way. Servants do indeed struggle with daily difficulties.
A final misconception goes like this: servants are protected against subtle dangers. To correct this error, we need to read verses 10–11:
[We are] always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. (2 Corinthians 4:10–11)
People who serve God and others "carry about in the body" signs of death—dangers and perils that are undeniable. Subtle and silent, these dangers lurk in the most unexpected places, pleading for satisfaction. The true servant is vulnerable. When the servant stumbles into these traps, it isn't long before he or she is completely ensnared. And it seldom happens fast or boldly. Usually, it comes on the scene in another garb entirely, appearing to be anything but dangerous.
So let's not be misled, servants of God, no matter how useful, godly, unselfish, and admirable you think you are; we are every bit as human and subject to the perils of life as any other person on earth.