What? A miserable soldier? But I am In Christ…
2Tim. 2:3 Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
Hardship: distressed, miserable: —wretched – all are part of original meaning of hardship in this verse
We all suffer (endure) hardship of various times, but those who are In Christ are instructed how to endure being distressed, miserable, wretched…
With me. (Christ speaking)
That makes an amazing difference for me, because there are times I feel
Distressed (experiencing decline or difficulty in some area of life)
Miserable (being in a pitiable state of distress or unhappiness as from want or shame)
Wretched (deeply afflicted, dejected or distressed in body or mind)
When I am Distressed – I am experiencing decline or difficulty about or in some area of my life. But I am not alone. I find this exceptionally comforting for the scripture says about my distress:
1Pet. 1:6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials… Rejoice? I cannot do that of myself. When I am distressed I am empty. Then I remember I am not alone. I am In Christ – and He is in me – with me! Even in distress. Maybe especially in distress.
When I am miserable – in a pitiable state of distress or unhappiness, scripture seems to indicate that there is only one reason for that – and that is if I am looking for hope in this life only.
1Cor. 15:19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.
Are some of these battles only to be resolved in eternity then? If not – I realize looking at the end of the verse again – if not, then I would have hoped in Christ in this life only and would of all God’s creations, be most to be pitied. To have been shown that He is with me – for and into eternity and to reject that like a toddler stamping my foot that I want resolution now…how foolish.
How wretched. I look at with me again and am shocked to see the meaning behind with – it comes from hagnos meaning purely – without sin
So it is like Christ saying, I understand you will get angry, but do not sin.
I understand you will be greatly distressed, but endure it purely, without sin. With me.
As a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
Good, I wonder. Who is good? But when I look at that meaning I see means capable of producing desired effect or effectual. I’m capable, I know because God has given (all who are In Christ) everything needed for life and godliness. (2Pet. 1:3)
A soldier is not a person of privilege – a soldier is an enlisted person, one who contends (fights) and serves (submits – gives obedience or homage) to God.
Word study helps me to work through the fog of oppression. It shines light on the enemy tricking me with accusation that if I am distressed, I am alone and hopeless and a wretched soldier, unfit for the work of God.
IF I get distressed? God’s word says I WILL be distressed, but I will not be alone, for Christ is with me.
If I am miserable? Gods word says if I believe the lies of the accuser I will be miserable for I will lose sight of the eternal hope.
If I am wretched? I can step out of it AS who I am in Christ – a soldier fit and completely provided with full armor and all that is needed to overcome.
If you, too, experience that place of panic – depressed, distressed, miserable or wretched – know that you can turn from the enemy’s lies and claim His grace and your victory:
Victory: (from the Message)
II Cor 4 – we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken.
Every detail works to your advantage and to God’s glory: more and more grace
So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace!
Note: The above picture happened when I was exhausted, distressed, miserable and wretched about my life’s circumstances. I’d been sorting a room full of papers for over 20 hours and crying out to God, crying that I was losing hope, asking, “What good is all this, how can anything good come of all this emotional garbage….” when this yellow paper slid out from a handful of envelopes, swirled down and landed on the huge throw away pile – face up. In my face. WATCH GOD WORK!