“For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” 2 Cor. 4:5-11
Though my personal story is NOTHING in the way of trials and tribulations when compared with so many other people’s stories and their challenges, I do believe I qualify in saying I feel like I have been battered down by my life’s trials in so many ways for so very long. But no matter how much I have been battered, and continue to be battered by the storms and battles the Lord leads me through, I see now how the Lord has taken me from battered to beautiful. The same way He can take any of us when it comes to battering. From battered to beautiful.
The more the Lord refines us in the midst of our battles, and battering, the more He conforms us to Himself as He grows us in His image, the more He transforms us to be ever more like Himself, the more He teaches us to live according to His ways rather than the world’s, the more we learn to deny ourselves, to die to ourselves, to our self-centered wishes, ways, and wants, as we learn to LIVE FOR HIM.
The more we LIVE FOR HIM, the more we YIELD TO HIM, SURRENDER TO HIM, SUBMIT TO HIM, SEEK, HEAR, AND OBEY HIM, the more we DIE TO OUR FLESH and the more CHRIST LIVES BY HIS SPIRIT IN AND THROUGH US!
When we place ourselves wholly in Christ’s loving hands, no matter how much we’re battered by this wicked world and by the trials of this life, we can be MADE BEAUTIFUL BY JESUS. How so?
The more we DIE TO SELF, the more room there is in our hearts and lives for THE LIFE OF THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST TO LIVE AND SHINE AND LOVE AND WORK AND BE BEAUTIFUL THROUGH US!
Whose beauty is it then? IT IS THE BEAUTY OF THE LIFE OF THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST!
No matter your battles, no matter the battering, no matter your trials and tribulations, YIELD YOURSELF UTTERLY TO JESUS THE CHRIST and LEARN DAY BY DAY TO DIE TO SELF that CHRIST’S EVERLASTING BEAUTY MAY SHINE FORTH THROUGH YOU for all the world to see GOD’S GLORY that HIS NAME MAY BE GLORIFIED FOREVER AND EVER AMEN!
The apostle Paul in the scriptures above speaks of the unbelievable battles he and his co-laborers for the Lord went through. But rather than complain and give up, they persevered for Christ’s sake and allowed the life of Christ to pour into and through them for all the world to see!