June 21, 2023

To keep on carrying God’s reality, it  requires a ‘self-emptying’ that gets thicker within us day by day. This condition will never be detached from what we deal every day and how we respond. Just pay attention to what Paul experienced.

2 Corinthians 4:7-12 (NIV) But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

People who are often oppressed, in other term is being treated unfairly, usually will experience negative emotional conditions. There are pressures crushing down on his mind that the innermost of his heart keeps screaming. They are usually will be stressed or confused, hopeless, even feel alone and want to die. That’s the condition of people in general.

In contrast to Paul, he was not crushed down but grateful. In the condition of being persecuted and stroke down, Paul still had a heart that forgives, full of love, and continues to see that everything would bring goodness. Thus, the awareness of the reality of God’s presence grows stronger within him.

Paul ‘brought the death of Jesus’, which are the thoughts and feelings that was in Christ Jesus. He emptied himself in such a way: gave up the right to be appreciated,respected, seen or understood and his heart remained pure. This is what makes the divine life and awareness of God’s reality more evident and radiates through him. Every time he ministered, the life of God was actively working in the lives of those he served.

So, don’t ever avoid or ‘protest’ when we face moments of being unappreciated, disrespected, not understood, even demeaned by others. Enjoy it with a grateful heart and look forward to this moment as an opportunity for us to accommodate the life of God that overflows. This is what makes us become bearers of God’s reality that is stronger to touch the lives of many people! Amen!

Ps. Steven Augustinus

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