through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. we are treated as impostors, and yet are true; [2 corinthians 6:8]
paul has finished his list of characteristics we bear as we work together with Christ to deliver a message of the grace of God to a world full of dead hearts. and so, having put on the armor of God, paul continues his list of the acceptance as well as the opposition we are promised to encounter.
when we smell of the beautiful aroma of Christ to God, we know to some people it will be life giving. we know that to some people, it will confirm their hatred toward God and bring about certain death. so, we shouldn’t be surprised or discouraged when our message turns out to be a stench. God has allowed me to see some first hand rejection to making much of his glory. it hurts, to be sure, as it’s sometimes someone i love. it’s especially painful when the rejection comes from within the church. but we’re not promised that our loved ones will love God’s glory. we’re not even promised that everyone in the church will love God’s glory. but that’s not our job to decide. salvation belongs to the Lord. revelation 7:10
and so we press on. knowing that God is mighty to save. knowing that he can and will change any heart he has chosen, at any given moment he has chosen, because his way is perfect. (psalm 18:30) Jesus said in john 16:33, i have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. in the world you will have tribulation. but take heart; i have overcome the world. brothers and sisters, Jesus Christ has overcome the world! so we face this trouble, these trials, rejection, dishonor, slander with the peace that Jesus’ words offer, for in him we are more than conquerors. romans 8:37
today, let’s sit in the presence of our mighty God who sends us into the world as his ambassadors, full of confidence in his glory, his mission, and his power to save. let’s ask for boldness and love, for perseverance and peace, and for humility and sure identity. let’s ask him to charge hell through his children for his glory!
the Lord your God is in your midst; a mighty one who will save. he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. [zephaniah 3:17]
so we do not lose heart. though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. for this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, [2 corinthians 4:16-17]
for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. [ephesians 2:10]
and let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. [galatians 6:9]