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Not Destroyed

Read: 2 Corinthians 4:8-18

This light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory. (v. 17)

One of the most-viewed boxing matches of all time is 1974’s bout between Muhammad Ali and reigning world champ George Foreman. Younger, heavier, and stronger, Foreman was favored to win. Ali spent four rounds taking punishing blows. Then, as Foreman began to slow, Ali seemed to come to life. In the 8th round, an unfazed Ali finished Foreman with a five-punch combination. Fans marveled at Ali’s ability to come back.

Paul was a man who knew how to take a beating. In 2 Corinthians 11, he describes being flogged, imprisoned, shipwrecked, starved, and stoned. He tells the church that adversity is an inescapable part of the Christian life. Yet because of God’s “surpassing power,” we are “not destroyed” (4:7-8). Our perseverance in such hardship reveals the “life of Jesus” in us (v. 11).

During seasons of disappointment, setback, or loss, I sometimes find it hard to envision a brighter future or imagine an unseen redemptive purpose. Yet Paul says, “Do not lose heart” (v. 16). My current trouble is “light momentary affliction” (v. 17). It prepares me for the eternal glory that awaits. When we’re brought low by grief or fatigue, we can ask Jesus to lift us up. When this life has run its course, we can expect him to raise us to his side. In all earthly circumstances, we can trust in his eternal purposes.

As you pray, ask the Lord to use all your circumstances to prepare you for his glory.

About the Author

Ben Van Arragon

Ben Van Arragon is the Minister of Worship and Leadership at Plymouth Heights Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He preaches and teaches the Bible in church, online, and anywhere else he has the opportunity.

This entry is part 6 of 15 in the series 2 Corinthians: Shining through the Cracks