2 Corinthians 4:13-18
13 But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” 14 We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. 15 All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
Paul says that we can discover God’s presence all around us, inside and out, if we have the eyes to see. Even in the place of pain we can embrace the reality of God’s new work. As we continue to look at the greater reality in which Paul believed we go from seeing to being willing to:
In the Christian life we often focus on big ministries where there is lots of action, yet Paul is calling us to something simple, just share your story, speak up. Paul is saying that if you believe you have to be bold and be willing to talk about it. Faith should flow from our lips. You don’t need a big ministry, you have a big Messiah, stop sitting and start sharing. Has God really changed your life, then share your story. Today you need to ask yourself the question “what is your reality?” Are you stuck in the “death and taxes” mentality where everything is difficult and depressing, or do you know a different reality? It is so easy for us to forget what the Father has done, to get focused on the temporary instead of the truth. It’s easy for us to speak about our success, what we have accomplished, yet Paul’s speech was not about self but the Savior. Paul chose to focus on the finished work of the Father not the feeble work we do. Paul’s message for us today is to go and speak about the One who saved us. As His people we are called to proclaim His praise. Speak about the Savior, talk about your faith and share the glory of God so that others might glorify God with you. Paul reminds us that we serve a risen Savior. We are a resurrected people being renewed every day, there is life abundant and more to come. Paul believed, so he spoke, what you believe should bubble over. Paul is trumpeting the triumph of God, He has already won and it’s time for Christians to embrace the truth that we are living in the dawning of God’s coming reign. Christ is coming so regardless of sickness or suffering we are victorious. God’s presence and triumph is all around us, it is both internal and external. The resurrected Christ renews us from the inside out and at the very same time, God is continually creating in our midst, and before our very eyes, His kingdom on earth. Paul wants us to understand what’s going on within us and what is happening all around us, and then he wants us to talk about it. “And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.” Paul is speaking out of the reality of his own heart about what God has done in His life, and like the Psalmist, says that the end result is more praise to the Redeemer. Why should we speak, because the more people that praise God, the more the world is taking the shape it was meant to have. One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. The goal is His glory and we can’t keep silent we must speak, no shout His praise. God is actively at work in your life, renewing you every day, its not good enough just to soak that up on your own. Our faith obligates that we speak because “we know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself” Don’t forget to remember and as you do, speak up. So, today will you speak?