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“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body” (2 Corinthians 4:7-10).

What is the reality of the Christian life? It is not that we will materially prosper and be above those around us. No, it is that we will feel the reality of the war of principalities and powers because of the hatred for the Lord that is in the world. Through all we may endure, we have the promise that the Lord is with us and that we are never forsaken. Jesus is manifest in those who believe.

I am often perplexed when things go awry and the prayers I pray seem to have an opposite answer from what I expect. Lead me, Lord, to learn how to be faithful through all things knowing that all things are in Your hands. Help me to learn to keep my eyes upon You and not upon what the world is doing. Help me to learn how to stand steadfast in and through all things because You are with me.

Lord Jesus, You know what it is to experience these things, for You experienced them in Your earthly life. Guide me, Lord, in the way You know I need to go. Help me to persevere through all the tribulations of this world knowing that only in You is there hope and a future. Through all things, let me know that I am never forsaken and that You are there, with me and for me. Guide me in the way of Your salvation. Amen.