Today's encouragement comes from 2 Corinthians 1:8, where we read these words:
"For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life."
Sometimes the pressure and stress on the faithful churchman's life can reach fever-pitch levels. It is astounding what a believer can endure—as he or she goes through the furnaces of affliction and suffering for Christ. At the same time, the only cause of our strength and perseverance is the grace of the Lord Jesus.
Fully commensurate with our pain and suffering is the joy and freedom of our release and resurrection in our Savior. Are we in a very hard way today? If so, let us remember that God has delivered us in the past. He is also actively de-livering us in the present; and He will deliver us in the future, (cf. vv. 9 & 10). Let us not lose heart—but rather press on in and with faith in Jesus.
[Puritan quote of the day: "Consider the company Christians keep. It is with the Father of glory. So Christians are indeed the excellent in the earth (Ps. 16:3).” —John Owen, in, "Communion with God"]