Checklist of a good life

"For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men. We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! we are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! To this very house we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We Word hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world." 1 Corinthians 4:9-13

When I am honest with myself that doesn't sound to fun. I personally like being strong, well fed, honored, having a house over my head etc. Those all seem like pretty good things. Don't get me wrong they are, God has bestowed those blessings on some of his children, PRAISE HIM for that. Let me summarize this list Paul uses to describe himself. Things like: weak, dishonored, hungry, thirsty, in rags, brutally treated, homeless, cursed, persecuted, slandered against, scum of the earth. Ouch. Now by the worlds standards this is the worst place you can possibly be. A complete lack of material wealth, happiness, worth. I would like to say that as a Christian this is a great place to be in.

First off I think of the verse I James 1:2-4 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything" this situation described is a situation we can use to build up our faith in Christ. It develops a type of perserverance we might otherwise lack. It also adds to your "toolbox" that God can use in the future. This situation you are in maybe the exact situation that another is going through and since you have been strengthened through this trial you can use that as encouragement to them, showing what God has done through you.

Another benefit of being in this "bad" state of comfort is simply you can acknowledge your need for Christ. I have experienced many times that when I am home, I get comfortable and lazy in my walk. It takes me getting out of my comfort zone to knock me into shape. In this situation where you have "nothing" you actually have everything. Christ becomes your all, he is all you need the sustainer of life that will provide for everything you need. Deuteronomy 31:6 says "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." If you didn't notice the word NEVER that is a pretty straight up word. Notice it doesn't say he will generally not leave you. It says never. That is a promise from God to you.

There are going to be times when we are not in what most would consider a favorable position. In those times when everything is going wrong and nothing good, it is those times we need to focus on Christ the hardest, what have you got to lose?

Bryce Cooley
I've been doing some form of ministry since 2000. For 13 years I was involved in the youth ministry at Cordova Neighborhood Church as everything from youth intern to youth pastor. God has led me and my lovely wife Bethany to Church of the Foothills where I currently reside as the Digital Publishing Coordinator. I'm excited to see where God leads my wife and I.
SHARE
Bryce Cooley
I've been doing some form of ministry since 2000. For 13 years I was involved in the youth ministry at Cordova Neighborhood Church as everything from youth intern to youth pastor. God has led me and my lovely wife Bethany to Church of the Foothills where I currently reside as the Digital Publishing Coordinator. I'm excited to see where God leads my wife and I.