The Unconquered Life | Morning Routine for October 29

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you. —2 Corinthians 4:7–12 (ESV)

In the larger context of 1 Corinthians chapter 4, Paul puts his life and ministry in perspective. Paul had a very real testimony of Christ at work in him. He saw that he was simply a vessel, and even the brokenness of the vessel didn’t tarnish the truth contained in it. In other words, “The message wasn’t cheapened by the vessel, but the vessel was made valuable by the treasure it contains.”

Notice, Paul’s struggles were not more than he could handle. He states clearly that he is not crushed, not in despair, not forsaken, not destroyed, and the life of Jesus was being manifest in his body. It’s as though in the bigger picture, Paul knew the spiritual riches that he brought to the Corinthian Christians came in part through the death-like suffering he endured in ministry. In fact, God was at work, making Paul more effective in ministry through the suffering he endured. And so it is for you and me.

God isn’t making difficult things happen; sin did that and broke what God made prefect. But God is still at work in it and promised to cause all things to work together for good, to those who love God, and are called to His purpose.  Today, take note of the very real testimony that you have of God at work in you. Everywhere you find challenges, you’ll also find the fingerprints of God working to bring about His purpose.