Sept 15, 2019 Confidence in Trials 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
True witness for God is based on faith in God, and this faith comes from God’s Word. Rom 10:17 Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Of what was Paul so confident? That he had nothing to fear from life or death! He had just listed some of the trials that were a part of his life and ministry and now he was affirming that his faith gave him victory over all of them. Note the assurances that he had because of his faith. In verse 14 He was sure of ultimate victory. He was sure God would be glorified in verse 15 and in verses 16-17 He was sure his trials were working for him, not against him. Finally in verse 18 He was sure the invisible world was real.
I. He was sure his trials were working for him, not against him 16-17
A. We faint not was Paul’s confident testimony.
1. What does it matter if the outward person is perishing, so long as the inward person is experiencing daily spiritual renewal?
2. Paul was not suggesting that the body is not important, or that we should ignore its warnings and needs. Since our bodies are the temples of God, we must care for them; but we cannot control the natural deterioration of human nature.
3. When we consider all the physical trials that Paul endured, it is no wonder he wrote as he did.
4. Though he is oppressed, Paul’s outlook is one of hope (14). Therefore, he does not lose heart, though his outer man is decaying for this affliction is light and temporary.
5. The words we do not give up or “faint not” are repeated from verse 1 Between these two statements Paul explains why he was not defeated even in extremely negative circumstances. The apostle is the ideal for all believers.
B. As Christians, we must live a day at a time. No person, no matter how wealthy or gifted, can live two days at ta time. God provides for us day by day as we pray to Him (Luke 11:3). He gives us the strength that we need according to our daily requirements (Deut 33:25 ).
1. We must not make the mistake of trying to store up grace for future emergencies, because God gives us the grace that we need when we need it (Heb 4;16).
2. When we learn to live a day at a time, confident of God’s care, it takes a great deal of pressure off of our lives
3. Yard by yard, life is hard
Inch by inch, life’s a cinch.
C. Verse 16 should be related to 3:18 because both verses have to do with the spiritual renewal of the child of god. Of itself, suffering will not make us holier men and women. Unless we yield to the Lord, turn to His Word, and trust Him to work, our suffering could make us far worse Christians. Some of God’s people grow critical and bitter and go from bad to worse instead of f rom glory to glory. We need that spirit of faith that Paul mentioned in verse 13.
D. When you live by faith in Christ, you get the right perspective on suffering. Note the contrasts Paul presented in verse 17: light affliction – weight of glory; momentary – eternal; working against us – working for us. Paul was writing with eternity’s values in view. He was weighting the present trials against the future glory, and he discovered that his trials were actually working for him.
E. We must not misunderstand this principle and think that a Christian can live any way he pleases and expect everything to turn into glory in the end. Paul was writing about trials experienced in the will of God as he was doing the world of God. God can and does turn suffering into glory, but He cannot turn sin into glory. Sin must be judged, beca