Devotion for August 10
By Bryan Chapell

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 manifested in our bodies. (2 Cor. 4:8-10)

I was graduating later that day and met our graduation speaker Rev. Ian Tait coming down a set of stairs. He asked about my plans, then gave a brief word of advice that I have needed many times.

“Just remember, Bryan,” he said, “There will always be blessings and battles – never all one or the other.” 

I have recited Tait’s words many times amid blessings and battles. In times of blessing, I remember that I am being bolstered for work to come. In times of battle, I remember that they are not necessarily punishment for wrong or signs of mistakes.

Until the Lord returns, there will be battles for his servants to fight in a fallen world of sinners like us. There will also be blessings to prepare and strengthen us for the battles. 

If we know there are always blessings and battles, we won’t be distracted by one or destroyed by the other. Blessings don’t mean we deserve nothing else, and battles don’t mean we failed. We aren’t necessarily more righteous because we have blessings, nor ever abandoned because we face battles. 

Sunshine and rain are needed for the harvest that God intends to reap from our lives. Knowing that weather forecast prepares us to face every day’s events and people with confidence in God’s grace.

Lord, thank you for showing others Jesus through me. Equip me for the blessings and battles I need to face for that purpose without being distracted or destroyed by either.

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