October 22, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things." 2 Corinthians 6:10
The scriptures reveal many paradoxes that are perplexing to those who have not experienced God's saving grace. The unbeliever forms his opinions on outward appearances, and his evaluation is confined to his finite reasoning. How sad to see those who are rich in this world's goods but destitute of the peace, joy, and hope that adorns the Christian. Whatever happiness they have is shallow, transient, and delusive. They live in a vacuum of emptiness, an illusion of their own choosing, deceived by Satan himself.
Paul's life was a classic example of a believer's paradoxical experience. He was the "idol" of his day, the favorite of the ruling class, tutored in all the teachings of the Law by Gamaliel, and a persecutor of Christians. But then "HE MET GOD" on God's terms...and his life was transformed. He himself proclaims, "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ...I have suffered the loss of all things that I may win Christ" (Philippians 3:7-8). His whole life was completely turned around. His priorities, goals, ambition, values...everything! The wealth of this world meant nothing. Christ was his all in all.
Regardless of our status in life, the Christian is rich, and has an inexhaustible resource in the grace of God. He has been reconciled to God...has access into the very presence of God...has the blessed assurance of eternal life...and is enriched with unsearchable riches.
What inexpressible consolation the believer has when he contemplates the virtue of Christ's atonement, the efficacy of His intercession, the sufficiency of His grace, the extent of His promises, and His inviolable truth and faithfulness! He cries out with heavenly joy, "I am sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; having nothing, yet possessing all things."
The men of this world are altogether dependent on outward circumstances for their happiness. If the well of their happiness fails, they become the objects of pity, misery, and grief.
Not so with the Christian. Amidst devastating circumstances, he has the comfort of ONE that has said, "I will never leave you or forsake you." He may be deprived of this world's wealth, but he has the promise of the Father, he may be weak and heavy laden with the cares imposed upon him by this world, but he has the promise from above. He may be destitute of loved ones, but there is ONE "who sticks closer than a brother." He may have no friends, lonely, and alone, but nothing can hinder his communion with the King of kings and Lord of lords. Though accused and criticized by the world, he can say, "If God be for us, who can be against us?"
What a blessed union the Christian has with Christ. He can say with Paul..."Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?...NO, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us." THIS is the paradox that portrays every Christian. HOW GLORIOUS!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-10-22
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