“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed – always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”
2 Corinthians 4:7-11
The treasure of gospel light and grace is put into earthen vessels. The true ministers of the gospel are subject to the same passions and weaknesses as other men.
God could have sent angels to make known the glorious doctrine of the gospel, or could have sent the most admired sons of men to teach the nations, but The Lord chose humbler, weaker vessels, that His power might be more glorified in upholding them, and in the blessed change wrought by their ministry.
The apostles were great sufferers, yet they met with wonderful support. Believers may be forsaken of their friends, as well as persecuted by enemies; but their God will never leave them nor forsake them.
There may be fears within, as well as fighting without; yet we are not destroyed.
The apostle speaks of their sufferings as a counterpart of the sufferings of Christ, that people might see the power of Christ’s resurrection, and of grace in and from the living Jesus. In comparison with them, other Christians were, even at that time, in prosperous circumstances.
If your life as a Christian is only suffering minor or petty trivialities, or it’s simply full of drama, and you have not known persecution, personal rejection from family and churches, it does not necessarily mean you are not in the truth. However the thing to consider is that true faith cannot be proven without trial. Joy cannot be known without anguish.
Most people in the fullness of truth and awareness of reality are going to go thru painful hardships throughout their lives. Never take for granted that you are ready for Heaven.
We must always strive for more of God, for genuine truth. We never arrive …