May 30, 2014
READ: 2 Corinthians 2:14-17
But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume (v.14).
I started this year with great enthusiasm. Having mapped out a strategy for pointing the youth ministry at my church towards loving God and loving people, I shared it with some colleagues and off we went! Well, 6 months later I did an evaluation and found we had made only minuscule progress. Discouragement covered me like a dark cloud.
When writing 2 Corinthians, Paul was possibly at the lowest ebb in his ministry. The church he loved at Corinth was in chaos. False teachers were blasting his character. His name was being slandered. There was nothing to feel triumphant about and he had every reason to feel discouraged.
Yet we read these words: “But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession” (2 Corinthians 2:14).
Paul viewed himself as part of the conquering army of Christ. He recognised that no matter how disappointing and discouraging the ministry, God was in control of every single detail and He would ultimately triumph!
The apostle added, “Now he uses us.” Yes, even during those moments when we feel that we’re not making much impact, God is using us. Someone said, “In heaven, there will be lots of surprises. There will be people thanking you for your influence in their lives of which you have no recollection.”
When we feel discouraged, let’s lift up our spirits through thanksgiving and remembering that God has chosen us to march in triumph with Him. We will triumph because Christ always triumphs! —Poh Fang Chia
Daniel 2:25-49 ‹365-day plan
Read 1 Corinthians 15:58 and consider what Paul wrote about our work for Jesus not being in vain.
What can you thank God for in your ministry? Why is discouragement such a difficult thing to avoid in working with people?