THE HOPE OF SURRENDER 

(2 Corinthians 1:9

Luke writes, "Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." (Luke 2:52) We know very little about the years that Jesus spent growing into manhood. However, we can surmise that He grew emotionally, mentally, and physically. Like us, God's Son had to develop, and we can imagine that while He was sinless, He learned how to live through the circumstances of life. 

There are many people today who are suffering - not because they have sinned or resisted God, but because the Lord has chosen to develop their lives through difficulty and hardship. In the first chapter of 2 Corinthians, Paul does not gloss over the fact that he suffered. At one point, he believed there was a strong possibility that he would die. However, God spared his life, and Paul was able to write about the hardships he faced with such hope that many who read his letters also declared faith in Jesus Christ. 

God cannot mold and shape our lives unless we are willing to surrender and to be transparent before Him. These are prerequisites to experiencing a breakthrough in our trials and sufferings. We have no idea of the difficulties that Christ faced as a young man - the Gospels do not record them. Yet, we know that as an adult, He suffered and died on the cross for our sins so that we might have eternal life. He was not ashamed of the calling that God had given Him. Now, all glory is His, and He is seated at the right hand of the Father interceding in prayer for us each day.

Stop looking at the trials of your life with thoughts of regret and horror. Learn to rest in God's care, and allow Him to work in your life to the fullest. When you do, you will discover that He has a tremendous blessing waiting for you. Not only will you grow to be like Him, you will be a testimony of His grace and hope to a troubled world. 

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