II Corinthians 4:10 (NIV) We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
“Our capacity to be life and grace to others comes through our experience of difficulty. Our ability to make a difference for God in a broken world comes through our capacity to be life in the midst of death, to be people of hope in a discouraging world” (see II Cor 1:6). Paul’s weaknesses and difficulties and setbacks became the very channels through which God brought life and grace to others. Romans 5 reminds us that suffering, setbacks, and disappointments are the means by which we are formed into people of maturity and strength. Obviously suffering has broken many people and left them disenchanted, bitter and lifeless. But the fact remains that through the stress points of life our character is tested and proven (Rom. 5:3-4). Everything depends on our response. “Suffering can either break us or make it. The real test of emotional maturity lies in our capacity to handle difficult and painful times. In the end we learn to love and be loved even in the midst of difficulty.” What suffering are you experiencing today? How are you responding?