Today’s reading 2 Cor 4
Paul’s words today are profound and every Christian should reflect and pray on them carefully. He writes:
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 while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
What’s Paul saying here? First, he is saying that the sufferings of life should have no effect on a Christian. Or perhaps more accurately, sufferings should not have an overly severe debilitating effect. Why? Because the death of Jesus leads to life.
Paul says that “while we live we are always being given up to death”. This has a natural meaning. We get older, our bodies break down, and eventually, we die. However, Paul says that this is for “Jesus’ sake” so it also has a spiritual meaning. So suffering has a spiritual meaning. A Christian, who handles suffering well because he knows that Christ defeated death and this is not all there is, “manifests” the life of Jesus in their mortal flesh. In other words, their example shows the life of Christ to others.
Tomorrow: 2 Cor 5