2 Corinthians 6:3-10 (NLT)
3 We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. 4 In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. 5 We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. 6 We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. 7 We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. 8 We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. 9 We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. 10 Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.
In these verses the Apostle Paul speaks about the hardships he has endured. The list includes: being beaten, put in prison, facing threats, overworked, exhausted and hungry and being ignored by those who know him. Yet Paul lives in such a way that he demonstrates his faith in God. He tells others about God and how God is working faithfully in his life. No matter what the circumstance righteousness defends him as he serves God. Paul knows he lacks worldly possessions, yet he has everything he needs.
We can respond to our circumstances in life in many different ways. We can live life through the power of God and defend ourselves against the attacks that come at us from many directions; or we can surrender to bitterness, hate and anger and just give up. Jesus asked, “What do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” Some worry over finances to the point they want to give up on life. Recently one man in my neighborhood did just that; he shot himself in his driveway after losing his job. Sadly his teenage daughter was the one who found him. We can let desperation make us believe life is intolerable; Satan would love for us to ignore what God can do. Yet we have Christ who can work in our lives to help us through all these situations. We can demonstrate our faith and courage to others and inspire them to walk steadfastly with Christ. When we stand strong in our faith we encourage others to do the same. Pray God will take away the fears of the world and allow you to live a victorious life no matter what circumstance you face.