Summary: . This section is one of three sections in II Corinthians devoted to a listing of Paul’s sufferings. Paul was not afraid of suffering because he knew that God controls trials, and God uses trials for His own glory.
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PASSAGE:
Driving through Texas, a New Yorker collided with a truck carrying a horse. A few months later he tried to collect damages for his injuries. “How can you now claim to have all these injuries?” asked the insurance company’s lawyer. “According to the police report, at the time you said you were not hurt.” “Look,” replied the New Yorker. “I was lying on the road in a lot of pain, and I heard someone say the horse had a broken leg. The next thing I know this Texas Ranger pulls out his gun and shoots the horse. Then he turns to me and asks, ‘Are you okay?’ (Reader’s Digest, July, 1994, p. 64).
God has made us the way we are so that we can do the work He wants us to do (v. 7). As a Christian we should never complain because of a lack of gifts or abilities. Each of us is a special vessel made by God for His use. The important thing about a vessel is that it is clean, empty and available. This section is one of three sections in II Corinthians devoted to a listing of Paul’s sufferings. Paul was not afraid of suffering because he knew that God controls trials, and God uses trials for His own glory. The natural mind cannot understand this kind of spiritual truth and as a result cannot understand why Christians are victorious in suffering. Furthermore God never abandons His own. For every trial there is a corresponding encouragement.
After Paul lists some of the trials that were a part of his life and ministry, he shares how God gave him victory over all of them.
1. He was sure of victory because of Christ’s resurrection (v. 14).
2. He was sure that God would be glorified because all things work together for good (v. 15, Romans 8:28).
3. He was sure that his trials were working for him, not against him (vv. 16 17).
4. He was sure that the invisible world was real (v. 18, Hebrews 11:1).
How does this chapter make me feel about hard times? How should I act differently because of what I have learned here?