A Certain Future

Mar 27, 2003 03:03 PM EST

2 Corinthians 4:7-17 (NRSV)

But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.

But just as we have the same spirit of faith that is in accordance with scripture--"I believed, and so I spoke"--we also believe, and so we speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence. Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure.

Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.

- 2 Corinthians 4:16 (NRSV)

BILL has cancer. Keep us in your prayers." The prayer chain was activated immediately. That was more than a year ago. With chemotherapy, the tumors were reduced, but after a while they began to grow again.

Bill's awareness of God's love never wavered. Bill retired from full-time ministry when he learned of the cancer, but he continued to spread the good news of the gospel, the message of salvation and hope. Bill welcomed opportunities to preach and teach. He gave time and energy to a prison ministry and to other ministries of the church.

Bill lost his battle with cancer. But Bill's battle with the disease never left him uncertain about his future as a child of God. Through Bill, we have learned that God is there for us when disease attacks the body, when we wrestle with grief, and when we cry out in anger, frustration, and pain.

Prayer: Thank you, God, that because you are with us and give us hope, we can serve you even in difficult times. Amen.


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