Today's encouragement comes from 2 Corinthians 7:4c & 5c, where we read these words:
" . . . I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation. . . . Outside were conflicts, inside were fears."
I found it helpful to read of the Apostle Paul's difficult experiences. We can see (above) that even he, the stalwart of faith and strength, was "fearful" at times. But even more than this, Paul could find a way (in Christ) to be "joyful" in "tribulation."
Every true believer is capable of enduring a whole lot more than he or she could ever imagine that he or she could. There is valor within that will never come to the fore unless it is put through the fire (of afflic-tions). Still, none of us look forward to these conflicts. The only thing we like is the Christlike character that develops in us (which brings us much peace, stability, and happiness).
[Puritan quote of the day: "People [become] distracted from coming to God by their own self-imposed spiritual disciplines." --John Owen, in, "Sin and Temptation"]