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Read Introduction to 2 Corinthians

 

as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. 

 

as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; 

Many thought that the team’s ministry was a sorrowful situation, but their ministry was a cause of rejoicing. Paul’s team did not rejoice after the trial but during the duress. The team could live in antithetical situations. The Christian living under the principles of God’s Word can have stability under great stress. Those who live under unadulterated emotion cannot withstand the changing pressures of life. They are the kind of people who believe that they are not Christians if they do not feel saved. Or, if they do not feel spiritual, they must not be spiritual. A rosy glow is their standard for life rather than putting things in perspective through God’s Word. The issue is not expressing emotion for carrying feeling about something is valid; the point is living above feeling.

as poor, yet making many rich; 

The team often suffered a lack of basic needs, such as clothing and a roof over their heads. They put no price on their ministry, yet they made “many rich” in the faith. Their teaching reflected the glory of God on the souls of their followers. They communicated the Word of God in such a way that biblical truth resided in their souls.

as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. 

Although the team did not have possessions, yet they were rich in spiritual blessing. The team was not affluent, but they were rich in God’s provisions. From the world’s perspective, the team had nothing, but from their viewpoint, they possess “all things.” They had everything they needed to live. Money, success, pleasure, social life, sex, friends, health, or material things were not the essence of their lives. They lived above those things; these kinds of things were not essential to dynamic living for them. Their souls were so built up with biblical truth that they needed nothing else. They lived under God’s provision of grace for any need they might have.

PRINCIPLE:

It is essential to put our expectations of ministry in a proper perspective.

APPLICATION:

Those in ministry do not abandon their ministries because of overwork, but because of their sense of failure and to meet the expectations of the congregation. Ministers should expect difficulties and blessings.

Christians do not rejoice after undergoing a trial but during it. It is not a subsequent issue, but simultaneous rejoicing at the time of the test.

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