"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."                                                                                                                        - 2 Corinthians 4:7-9, NKJV

Isn't it amazing how the writings of the Apostle Paul contrast with the teachings of the TV evangelists of modern culture? They would have you thinking that being in the will of God means having, "your best life now!" They would have you believe God wants you to enjoy nothing but health, wealth and prosperity! Of course your health, wealth and prosperity is dependent upon your, "obedience," in, "planting a seed of faith," by sending hundreds or thousands of dollars into their ministry coffers! How unlike the teachings of the Apostle Paul!

Who would dispute he was in the will of God when going on his missionary journeys? And yet, listen to Paul's testimony of the kind of health, wealth and prosperity he enjoyed while being firmly within the will of God. In 2 Corinthians 11:22-28, he contrasts his experiences with those of the false apostles of his day. "Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. Are they ministers of Christ? - I speak as a fool - I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness - besides the other things, what comes upon me daily; my deep concern for all the churches."

So....once again we can see how some things never change. Human nature never changes. There will always be false apostles among us. They will go on puffing themselves up with the fakery of their own spiritual deceits. He describes them and their lies in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 by saying: "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great things if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works."

Do not be deceived, my dear brethren! Do not listen to their lies! Whenever you are experiencing distresses and disease, trials and tribulations that are not of your own making, take heart! The same One who protected and provided for Paul and brought him safely through all his discouraging circumstances is the One who is caring for and carrying you, as well! As you struggle through your journey of faith, remember two things. First, remember that Romans 8:28 says God works all things together for good to those who love Him, to those who are the called according to His purpose!

Secondly, bear in mind that others are watching you as you go through the deep waters of distress. Some will only come to faith by seeing your example of faithful perseverence. Remember, you are a message to the world about the awesome, miracle working power of God in the earthen vessel of your earthly body! Hear His words to you from Psalm:10. "Be still and know that I am God!"

Blessings & Peace, Brother Dan