8 By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; 9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; 10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. -- 2 Corinthians 6:8-10 KJV
This is the last nine out of three nine-fold descriptions of the true ministers of God. First was the “negative” experience – patience in the ministers of God. Second one, the “positive” attributes – the power of God in the ministers of Jesus Christ. These are the “paradoxes” of God’s grace. They are basically summarizing the “negative” and “positive” aspects in the ministry. The followers of Jesus Christ endures all sort of hardships with love and patience.
As Christians, we must expect to encounter many different challenges and trials in this world. It will be a great evidence of our integrity if we stay strong and humble, preserving our temper of mind. We all stand in need of God’s grace to arm us spiritually.
Ever since Jesus Christ started His ministry and the very first disciples joined Him, in the eyes of unbelievers Christ and His followers were liars, deceivers and blasphemers. Nothing new under the sun even today: Christians have been accused of being dishonourable and intolerant, even though they say the truth with respect and love; by telling to everyone that Jesus Christ is “the way, and the truth, and the life” Christians have been called deceivers; even though the Law of God is written on their hearts and God is well known in their mind, atheists prefer to keep it as unknown; Christians are chastened and often fall under the whip of the law, and yet not killed; sorrowful, sighing and mourning, and yet rejoicing in Lord Jesus; Christians despised as poor, and yet they are making many rich, by preaching the Word of God out of the riches of His glory; Christians are thought to have nothing, no silver, no gold, no house, no land, none, and they possess “all things“! Ref. Matthew Henry Study Bible
This is the time for your journaling. Reflect on these questions. Ask the Holy Spirit to test your faith and your walk with Christ.
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? — 2 Corinthians 13:5 KJV
- Do you treat people with honour despite disregard from them?
- Do you keep directing them to Jesus, despite their stubbornness and unbelief?
- Do you make God known in this obscure world?
- Do you rejoice in Jesus Christ when the lashes of this world chastising you?
- Do you enrich people by preachings of the Gospel?
Heavenly Father, we thank you for Who You are. You are Alpha and Omega, You are the Beginning and the End. We glorify Your name, Lord God, above all the names. We thank You for Jesus Christ and for the Word of Truth. We pray that the Holy Spirit will move us to serve You in patience and love for our friends and enemies, enduring all sort of hardship and difficulties with joy and praise. We pray that we won’t spot preaching the truth which is in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
All these we pray in the Holy name of our Lord God. Amen