The desire to know God will always conflict with the desire to love the world. The ways of the world are alluring such that it is tempting enough to want to forsake a life in Jesus. This is because life in the Spirit is not nearly as tangible as the pleasures of the flesh (2 Cor. 4:18). If you will be successful in a life of faith, you must make up your mind to believe that God is love (1 John 4:16) and that His Word is absolutely true (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Armed with this, and by the power of His grace, you can accept a life of suffering or persecution when they come (Matthew 5:11-12), and you will not be swayed by anything that the world deceitfully offers (2 Cor. 6:16-17; Eph. 4:14).
Interestingly, when the world figures out that you have no interest in it, it begins to unveil its true nature—one that the people of the world are queerly oblivious to. You’ll see the world for what it really is—its nakedness and ugliness—because it will show it to you. The more it reveals its true colors, the more clearly you’ll see its depth of deception, and that the freedom it promised was only a path to eternal damnation. You’ll discover that the world is cold and lonely, and worse, it is dying; its embers will never be fanned back to life because a new one is coming (Rev. 21:1). All you can do is lead people to Christ so that their souls will be eternally saved (John 3:16).
Why does God let us experience these things?
Because with each trial and temptation thrown at us by the enemy, we witness a truth that draws us closer to God and builds us into the image of Christ, which is the ultimate goal of God for man (Eph. 4: 12-13). For instance, in persecution, you tap into a strength that lets you know that you’re not alone or abandoned by God (2 Cor. 4:9a). And when the world insists on being brutal in hard pressing the children of God into a corner because we speak the truth, in the end we’re not crushed (2 Cor. 4:8a). Even when we’re struck down in sickness and in death or some form of persecution, we know that our souls are not eternally destroyed like our bodies are (2 Cor. 4:9b), because of our hope in the life to come (1 Cor. 15:19). We may witness an astonishing degree of depravity, perversion, and wickedness in the world and be perplexed by it, but we do not despair that the darkness will overshadow the light of God in this world (2 Cor. 4:8b), because He [Jesus] that is in us is greater than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). Because Jesus has overcome this world (John 16:33), so we too by faith have overcome (1 John 5:4-5), and so we’re more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). Therefore, we are treasures hidden in jars of clay (2 Cor. 4:7), but only for a while—until we are given eternal bodies that will never rot or die (2 Cor. 4: 16-5:1-10). These sufferings on earth require the virtues of perseverance and patience, which bleed out sin and produce holiness in us. The more we face the evil, the more God’s righteousness is revealed in us in the manner in which we respond to it. So we’re given over to these deaths that life in Christ may be revealed in us for the world to see as a testimony of God’s love, for only God can produce the gracious love displayed by His children, giving all glory to God, our Father in heaven (2 Cor. 4: 11-12; 15)! This makes all the suffering worth it.
About the Editor
Miranda A. Uyeh is the founder and editor of To Be A Person (TBAP), the author of Christian Romance/Suspense fiction, To Die Once: Child of Grace #1, a Mogul Global Ambassador, and a copywriter. She was a one-time shortlisted judge for the Inspy Awards in 2014 in the Contemporary Romance & Romance/Suspense Category.
When Miranda isn’t reviewing books/entertainment or hosting interviews on TBAP, she’s writing, reading for fun or relaxing with a good movie! When she gets bored with the world, she talks to God about it! To learn more about her book, To Die Once, her journey as an author and her other activities, you can follow her personal website. You can also connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+.
*The article, Given Over To Death That Life May Be Revealed, first appeared on To Be A Person (TBAP).