Hold On and See it Through

My last SOAP entry had such a profound passage that moved me in such a way that I wanted to break it down for my own personal journal. It’s always interesting to look back and see what God was saying to me at different intervals of my life. So here is my personal breakdown of 2 Corinthians 6:3-10.

“We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.” 2 Corinthians 6:3-10

“Do not be a stumbling block.” A stumbling block is something that trips up others. When I am not doing the right thing, when my words are hurtful, or when my tone is ill mannered, it negatively effects the message I am trying to convey. When I am a stumbling block, God’s message becomes viewed as less credible because I’m not going forth in the truth of God’s Word.

“Endure and be patient through distress and pressure, through pressing situations, through difficult circumstances.” When things are hard, finances are tight, people are angry at me, or I’m busy in life, I am to endure and push on in patience. These things are not eternal. They won’t last forever. I must hold on and see it through.

“Endure and be patient… when wounded or in misery, while caged and held hostage, and in the midst of disorder and confusion.” When grieving or hurting within, feeling trapped with no escape, and in the midst of the disorder and confusion of depression I am to endure and push on in patience. These things are not eternal. They won’t last forever. I must hold on and see it through.

“Endure and be patient… when weary and fatigued, while awake and when unable to sleep, and while fasting.” When I’m overwhelmed and my body does not want to do what my spirit wants, while I’m vigilant, in need of sleep, or during a fast I am to endure and push on in patience. These things are not eternal. They won’t last forever. I must hold on and see it through.

“Endure and be patient… with integrity, with wisdom, with long temperance and with meeting needs of others, Spirit led and in high esteem without hypocrisy.” I am to remain honest and genuine, with knowledge and awareness and with awareness of God’s Word, without losing my temper but going long periods before getting angry and being helpful to those around me without being a hypocrite I am to endure and push on in patience. These things are not eternal. They won’t last forever. I must hold on and see it through.

“Endure and be patient… speaking reality according to God’s divine Word and in the ability God’s given.” I am to be aware of what is false and what is true and speak it forth according to God’s Word and in the power that He’s given me. I am to endure and push on in patience. This world is not eternal. It won’t last forever. I must hold on and see it through.

“Endure and be patient… with tools and resources of justice with full force; through an opinion that determines value and through an opinion that determines without value, through condemnation and through commendation, when regarded deceptive and when regarded as true.” I am to pick up what I have readily available from God’s Word to stand for what is right, I am to stand for what is right even as someone might determine me as worthless and remain constant when someone might determine me as worthy; even as I am condemned and when I am shown favor; even when I’m accused falsely and when I’m seen as I am. I am to endure and push on in patience. These things are not eternal. They won’t last forever. I must hold on and see it through.

“Endure and be patient… being ignored despite being well known.” Whether those I love value the words I say, love me in return, or shrug off any depth of who I am, I am to endure and push on in patience. These things are not eternal. They won’t last forever. I must hold on and see it through.

“Endure and be patient… being separated despite experiencing God’s gift of life.” Even when I feel alive and wonderful and I’m not able to connect with others, I am to endure and push on in patience. These things are not eternal. They won’t last forever. I must hold on and see it through.

“Endure and be patient… being corrected and purified, and yet not mortified.” When correction comes and my sin is revealed, I am humbled and not mortified. It is to my good that endure and push on in patience. These things are not eternal. They won’t last forever. I must hold on and see it through.

“Endure and be patient… experiencing deep emotional pain but always concious of God’s grace.” Even when I feel deeply the sorrow of my own circumstance or the circumstances that others face, I remain aware of God’s grace for those He loves because these things are not eternal. I am to endure and push on in patience because they won’t last forever. I must hold on and see it through.

“Endure and be patient… as helpless as a beggar but enriching the lives of others, being without and yet taking hold of everything.” Though I may have little to give in this world, I am to endure and push on in patience. These things are not eternal. But what is eternal is the soul, what I can offer is love. Love will last forever. I must hold on and see it through.

“You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:17

Considering the Cost…

The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands. Proverbs 14:1

The words we use and works we employ determine the foundation of our homes. We have the capability to empower and motivate our families to be all God has called them to be in Christ. Let us be wise and use the tools that God has given us to build the home. We can’t do it without Him, so call on Him for His wonderful guidance and provision.

How do we implement this? First we must consider the cost.

Jesus expects us to consider what commitment is expected to follow Him. The cost, Jesus warned, is complete surrender to Him.

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? … any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:28-33

Our desire should be to give prompt attention to the needs of those around us, as if it is a favor to us to be allowed to serve. This urgency is more precious than many see it and brings security, confidence, and wonderful joy.

If I have found favor in your eyes, my Lord, do not pass your servant by. Genesis 18:3

We are to consecrate ourselves to the Lord’s service and thus be separated from the commonplace. We are to fulfill the call He’s placed on our lives!

“Do not come any closer,” God said. Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Exodus 3:5

No matter what we encounter, whether it be shame, disgrace, rejection or any other adversity, we must press on to continue, even when the enemy thinks they have the upper hand. No matter what reputation we receive, or if we are hated, the calling of God must be carried out!

…they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ. Acts 5:38-42

We will be set apart – made holy – when we fall willingly at His feet no matter what the cost. God’s plan is so big and far beyond what our thoughts can reach. We must let go of all we hold dear so that all that the Lord holds dear can be accomplished.

Then Moses said, “You have been set apart to the Lord today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day.” Exodus 32:29

Inspiration for this post: Consider the Cost

A Sacrificial Love

An article in National Geographic several years ago provided a penetrating picture of God’s wings…

After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno’s damage. One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick.

When he struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother’s wings.

The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies.

When the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been willing to die, those under the cover of her wings would live.

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge” (Psalm 91:4)

Being loved this much should make a difference in your life. Remember the One who loves you and then, be different because of it.

Thanks for posting this Jeni – I love this beautiful portrayal of God’s love for His children from His glorious creation.  Here are more scriptures confirming this special portrayal of our loving Daddy:

Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me under the shadow of Your wings Psalm 17:8

How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. Psalm 36:7

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by. Psalm 57:1

Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. Psalm 63:7

Praise You Lord. Thank You for in fact doing this very thing for Your children. You gave Your life for ours to be saved. Such a sacrifice can never be earned but I pray that with my life, it would not be in vain.

Our Salvation Complete

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:6-9

In the moment God feels so very far away; remember Him. Is your faith genuine? Push on through the trial and at the perfect moment when Jesus is revealed, praise will flow from your lips for the only One deserving of glory and honor. It is in this that we can trust that our salvation is complete; when we love and long for Him, even when we don’t see or feel Him near.

Lord, I thank You that these trials are not “just life” but that everything is given its purpose for Your mighty kingdom. Help us to trust in You and know that the trial will not overtake us because you won’t give us more than we can bear. In Jesus name. Amen!

Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:13-16