WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
APRIL 24, 2021
TOPIC: DON’T GIVE UP THE HOPE OF LIVING BECAUSE OF TROUBLES
BY T. O. BANSO
“We have troubles all around us, but we are not defeated. We do not know what to do, but we do not give up the hope of living” (2 Corinthians 4:8 New Century Version).
Everybody faces one trouble or the other. It may be financial, health, career, marital, or any other. Pastors also face troubles, just as the members of the congregation. Leaders contend with troubles and followers also do. The only difference is in the nature of the troubles of each person. They vary. This is one reason you shouldn’t envy anyone. You don’t know where the shoe pinches.
The apostle Paul had his own troubles. His troubles had to do with the ministry. He was “surrounded and battered” by troubles. He had the option of quitting or fighting on. In 2 Corinthians 4:7, he made it clear that he was not a superman. He was an ordinary person in whom God’s power worked. God put His treasure in clay jars, showing that the great power of God was from Him, and not from man.
Paul had troubles just like everyone. He didn’t hide this fact. He said in 2 Corinthians 4:8, “We have troubles all around us, but we are not defeated. We do not know what to do, but we do not give up the hope of living” (New Century Version). Can you relate to what he said? Are you surrounded by troubles – financial, marital, health, etc? Even if you don’t know what to do, don’t give up hope of living.
Paul also said in 2 Corinthians 7:5-7, “For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears. Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which he was comforted in you, when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced even more” (New King James Version). Did you see that?
Did you see Paul talk in that scripture about being troubled on every side? Have you been in such a situation before when you seemed to be sandwiched by troubles? If you look unto God, He will comfort you and use you to comfort other people. Paul described God as the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our tribulations that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God (2 Corinthians 1:3b-4).
In 2 Corinthians 2:13-14, Paul talked about when, in the course of preaching the gospel, he had no rest in his spirit. Take note that in 2 Corinthians 7:5, he said “our bodies had no rest.” Therefore, both his body and spirit had no rest. He said in 2 Corinthians 2:13-14, “Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord, I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I departed for Macedonia. Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place” (New King James Version). Paul faced different kinds of troubles in the ministry but he didn’t quit. He fulfilled his ministry. Be positive in your troubles and always expect God’s intervention. Don’t give up hope of living.
One man heard about the losses a man who wanted to rent his house had suffered and said he couldn’t believe the story because the attitude and countenance of the person didn’t show that he had suffered such losses. When he was finally convinced, he said if he were in the persons’ shoes, he probably would have died! Why should anyone die over material things? Anyone who does that denies himself the enjoyment of better things God can still do for him. God can restore what a person has lost and increase him/her more than before.
Psalm 126:1-3 says, “When the LORD brought back the captivity of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, ‘The LORD has done great things for them.’ The LORD has done great things for us, and we are glad” (New King James Version). If you have lost anything, I pray that you will enjoy restoration this season.
Dear friend, no matter the troubles surrounding you, refuse to be defeated. Don’t quit. Don’t give up hope of living. Don’t let suicide becomes attractive to you. Keep fighting. Keep fighting for your spiritual life, ministry, health, marriage, children, business, career, etc. Don’t give up hope of living, even if you don’t know what to do.
According to the apostle Paul, the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
Keep fighting. Never stop praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17). As you pray, the LORD will fight for you. As you pray, He may tell you what you need to do, who to talk to, or where to go. Troubles are not peculiar to you. We all have troubles; they only vary. Jesus said in the world, we will have tribulation, but we should be of good cheer; He has overcome the world (John 16:33). God will give you victory if you don’t give up the hope of living; and if you don’t give up on Him. Your faith in God will overcome all troubles (1 John 5:4b).
If you’ve given your life to Jesus, you’re an overcomer. If you haven’t, give your life to Jesus. Accept Him as your Lord and Savior. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4-5 New King James Version).
Remain positive notwithstanding your negative experiences. Be grateful to God. Don’t give up the hope of living.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, thank You for always leading Your children in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuse the fragrance of Your knowledge in every place. Father, no matter the troubles all around me, I shall not be defeated in the name of Jesus. Even if I don’t know what to do, I shall not give up the hope of living. I shall look unto You. I shall overcome all troubles in Jesus’ name.
(For about 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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