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THE WORD: Rising above life’s adversity

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9.

For the past six weeks or so I have been on the revival circuit at various churches in the region. Each of the revivals were preceded by praise and testimonial periods. I listened intently to many of the testimonials that were given and the majority, if not all consisted of instances of challenges of adversity; and how the enemy was lashing out through persecution and other troubling matters on every hand.

I pondered those moments prayerfully and it seems that is the plight of so many people in our society today, whereby the winds of adversity and despair blows continuously. Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth shares a profound word of encouragement for the believer regarding challenges and adversity along life’s journey.

The believer should be reminded that God never promised us a life of ease. We had trials and trouble before we believed, and it is almost assuredly that our trials and trouble may even increase afterward because of who we are and whose we are. The way of the Cross; and the way that Jesus speaks to us through the scriptures as to what we must embrace, is not an easy way.

The road is steep and rocky, and through it leads to glory, it also leads to pain and unfavorable circumstances before that destination is reached. The life of Jesus made that obvious and the life of the apostles certainly confirmed it. The Christian’s walk in this cruel and evil world is anything but a casual and comfortable walk. It is not a hidden fact that trials complicate our lives, and pain touches us all where ever we live.

This ushers in discouragement when we are navigating life through hardship after hardship, and often we lose heart and are plummeted to the realm of despair. It can get overwhelming. However, we must realize that we were not redeemed for a life of comfort although that somehow seemingly be the desirable norm for many. Yes, the life of comfort is promised but not on this side.

Please know that this world and its troubles cannot crush the spirit within the believer. Oh, does it try, but it can’t. It simply isn’t possible for the temporal to overcome the eternal, for the finite to eclipse the infinite, or for the darkness to shroud the glory.

God lives in these clay vessels of ours, and though the clay can be broken and crushed, the treasure within cannot! It is this spirit and treasure that have been woven into the fabric of our identity. And when trials strike, the Paraclete does not leave. Just rise above.

JAMES TAYLOR, III is the pastor of the Jericho Baptist Church in Farmville. His email address is: jht3@verizon.net