Struck down but not destroyed.

Damaged by self and others.

We have all suffered consequences resulting from our own actions or those of someone else. Most we are able to leave behind wiser for having had them. Then there are the consequences that are unavoidable if you are faithful to God’s calling on your life. The apostles had the world against them.

“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-12) 

The simple truth is that we cannot fully experience Christ’s life in us as long as we hold on to our own. We have not been called to be apostles, but we have been called to be transformed into His likeness. When His word abides in us we cannot help but be different than the world, the same world that opposed the apostles.

The requirement for living for Jesus is our own death. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.” (John 12:24-25) I know this is a hard saying that many believers avoid, but “Truly, truly” is what Jesus said.

So, let us not lose heart though there still are ways in us that need to die. Jesus has promised that His Spirit will renew us day by day. The consequences of our life in Christ are a temporary condition that “is preparing us an eternal weight of glory beyond comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”  (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

No matter what our past has been we now can thrive in the life of Christ.