Don't Waste Your Hardships
Since God is able to use hardship to advance his Christ-saving and Christ exulting work, the worst of times can result in the best of outcomes. Here’s how…
1. Find your joy in gospel outcomes (12-18).
- Hardship becomes a very real test of our attachments—are they physical or spiritual; health and wealth or Christ?
- If you get more jazzed about the gospel than your own life and comfort, you can rejoice when the gospel goes on even if at your apparent expense.
2. Ask for prayer-- that your BROTHER/SISTER in hardship will experience an unusual, but necessary, abundance of the Spirit (19-20).
- A special supply of the Holy Spirit’s power and filling is available through prayer!
- Learn to love it when your disappointments become cause for Christ’s exultation—to get here, you must get good at joy in small disappointments.
- God is most magnified, not by what I do, but by what I am—not my body of work, but my body.
3. Finally come full-faithed to the place where your outcomes are only win (21-26).
- Hardships will harm you until Christ is your prize and joy.
- We have banked everything on believing that death is better (gain), and then do everything we can do to prevent it.
- When Christ is the prize, a more perfect existence with him is immensely more appealing.
Circumstances, whether good or challenging, simply have no bearing on your joy when your joy is anchored to the advancement of the gospel and progress toward knowing Christ.