"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11: 28-30
"6:1 Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For he says,
“In a favorable time I listened to you,
and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”
Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 3 We put no obstacle in anyone's way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, 4 but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5 beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; 6 by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; 7 by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 8 through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything." 2 Corinthians 6:1-10
Today this passage really hit. As I read while waiting for church to start, my heart literally filled with joy from this passage. "Yet possessing everything."
Life seems to deal an unfair hand sometimes. This passage speaks of much hardship and many harsh circumstances of Paul; afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger, imposters, unknown, dishonored, slandered, dying, punished, sorrowful, poor, and having nothing. But mysteriously it is all turned around in Christ. In contrast with that almost unbearable list, Paul mentions; great endurance, purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, the Power of God, weapons of righteousness, honor, praise, truth, being known, life, spared, rejoicing, making many rich, and possessing everything.
It almost seems that the two contrasting lists go hand in hand, like there cannot be one without the other. What I mean is that through living and enduring through all of the hardships, Christ is all the more glorified and shines that much brighter as Paul pours out his heart to the Corinthians and to us.
God's promises sustain me. In the grand scheme of things and from a worldly perspective, I really don't have much. However, in Him, I have everything. My life is truly full in the abundance of gifts that God has granted me and I look forward to a life of fullness with Him for all eternity. I have come to realize that the hardest parts of my life contribute to this fullness. Though my list of hardships comes nowhere near Paul's, may God get the glory through each joy and each pain that comes my way.
"11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly." Psalm 84:11