Afflicted But Not Crushed

“…we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Our trials are given to us as tests to prove God's love for us and to prove His power on our behalf. He sometimes brings us trials and sufferings to show us that we are Christians! In these times of trial and suffering He is maturing our faith. And since it is God who is allowing our trials and difficulties, we are to be diligent. We are to endure. We are to be patient for the result is the full assurance of hope. The trials of life should never cause you to doubt God's salvation, God's love, or grace. 

 "For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name and having ministered and still ministering to the saints, and we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end that you may not be sluggish but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises." Hebrews 6:10

Trials are the very crucible in which assurance is formed?

God allowed Paul to be afflicted, perplexed, and persecuted and Paul says I'm convinced; I am absolutely convinced that none of these things can separate us from God! Paul says in Romans 8:35,

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, For your sake we are being put to death all day long, we were considered as sheep to the slaughter, but in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us, I am convinced."

And in Romans 8:38 Paul says. "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Yes, God does sometimes allow awful things to come into life, but He will not allow you to be overcome by them. There is no trial, or suffering that can take away your salvation. A true believer is eternally secure and God won’t allow that to happen. He keeps you safe and secure in Christ.

This about this: what convinced Paul of the security of his salvation? What convinced him and gave him assurance? It was Paul’s own experience of tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword, death, life, angels, principalities, things present, things to come, powers, height, depth, and created things.  He went through it all, none of it removed the assurance of his salvation. None of it stole his assurance.

Sometimes, the only place I can find for comfort and assurance of this kind is the Bible.  The Psalms are of particular comfort to me. The Psalmist makes note of God’s faithfulness and our assurance of secure salvation in the midst of adversity. I will quietly sit back and allow God's Word to speak to the quietness of your soul.

Psalm 40:11 - You, O LORD, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.

Psalm 18:35-36 - You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, And Your right hand upholds me; And Your gentleness makes me great. You enlarge my steps under me, And my feet have not slipped.

Psalm 54:4 - Behold, God is my helper; The Lord is the sustainer of my soul.

Isaiah 41:10 - Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

Psalm 119:116-117 - Sustain me according to Your word, that I may live; And do not let me be ashamed of my hope. Uphold me that I may be safe, That I may have regard for Your statutes continually.

Psalm 32:7- You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.

Paul and Jude also remind us that God will hold us fast, even during our times of trial and adversity and suffering: 
2 Thessalonians 3:3 - But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.

And to close this out, one of my very favorites: Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy. Jude 1:24