RECYCLING BROKEN PEOPLE


What kept the recycled Saul of Tarsus from falling into the brink when facing public humiliation, gross misunderstanding and antagonistic betrayers? How did Paul keep recovering from brutal attacks, punishments and imprisonment?




Colossians 1:
24-25 I want you to know how glad I am that it’s me sitting here in this jail and not you. There’s a lot of suffering to be entered into in this world—the kind of suffering Christ takes on. I welcome the chance to take my share in the church’s part of that suffering. When I became a servant in this church, I experienced this suffering as a sheer gift, God’s way of helping me serve you, laying out the whole truth.
26-29 This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. That is the substance of our Message. We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me.
(The Message)


In the simple, earthy way that The Message reads, it is this—Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory.

No matter what happens to you, there is the comfort of God and hope of resurrection to keep you enduring. This suffering is not the intended permanent state of God’s child.

Paul realized that his own years of endurance came from acknowledging that God is generous in helping us. What he could not do in his failing strength, he could do with the grace and energy that God gave him in knowing Jesus.

Paul could afford to break, because Christ’s strength became that much more apparent in difficult conditions that exposed his weakness.

Vance Havner said,

"God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. It is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever." [1]


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