Enduring Words with David Guzik Podcast

Examples of Patient Endurance – James 5:9-11 – July 24, 2023

The New You

The New You

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

People long for transformation. It’s easy to see on media of all kinds the story of someone become someone or something new. The flabby become fit, the plain become beautiful, the weak become strong. These stories catch our attention, because there is a God-given longing in each of us for transformation.

The New You

Physical appearance is relatively easy to change, but it is much more difficult to genuinely become a new person. No one has the power to make themselves a person made in the image of Jesus Christ. But Jesus can and does change us. Once He does, then we are called to go out and live like “the new you.”

This promise of 2 Corinthians 5:17 is remarkably broad, being for anyone. It doesn’t matter what class, what race, what nationality, what language, or what level of intelligence. In Jesus Christ, anyone can be a new creation. However, it is a promise for anyone who is in Christ. This is not a promise for those who are in themselves, or in the religion of men, or in someone or something else. This is for those in Christ.

Paul here taught the great principle of regeneration. Jesus Christ changes those who come to Him by faith and who are in Christ. The saved are not “just forgiven.” They are changed into a new creation.

In 1954, Billy Graham led a remarkable crusade in London. It lasted for weeks and weeks, and ever since, Billy has met people all over the world who were brought to Jesus Christ during that crusade. One story was worthy of mention.

One of Billy Graham’s associates noticed two men come into the crowded arena, and the men sat near the back. They apparently did not know each other, but in just a few moments of loud conversation, they found two things to agree upon: they did not like Americans, and they especially did not like American evangelists like Billy Graham. They agreed that they had both come to see the show, just to make fun of it.

So, they sat in the back and joked around through the whole service. But as Billy Graham presented the message of the gospel – the good news of who Jesus is and what He has done, especially in His sacrificial death and victorious resurrection – the hearts of both men were touched by the Holy Spirit. Both recognized their need for salvation and decided to go forward at the invitation to express their faith and to commit their lives to Jesus Christ. The first man turned to his new companion and said, “I’m going forward.” The other one said, “I am too. And here’s your wallet back – I’m a pickpocket.”

That’s evidence of new life. Have you been made new in Jesus Christ? If you have, are you living like it?

Click here for David’s commentary on 2 Corinthians 5


Your Light Affliction

Your Light Affliction

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. (2 Corinthians 4:17)

Jun Sato, 25, couldn’t find work in downtown Tokyo, so he created his own job. Dressed in protective padding, he let people on the street put on boxing gloves and beat him for three minutes for the equivalent of about $10. Sato said, “I enjoy being used as a punching bag, it is another way to experience life. I want to continue as long as my body holds up.”

Your Light Affliction

Most people don’t feel that way. Most of us don’t knowingly seek out suffering, and when we’re in it, we want to get out of it as soon as possible. This makes the Apostle Paul’s description our afflictions as light hard to accept. If Paul wanted to think his afflictions were light, that was his business – but our afflictions usually seem heavy.

Looking at the kind of life Paul lived and the afflictions he suffered changes our perspective. 2 Corinthians 6:4-5 gives a start in understanding what Paul went through personally: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness. Paul certainly did not have an easy life, yet he could still call his afflictions light.

Your afflictions may be lighter than you first think.

Our afflictions are light compared to what others are suffering. No matter how bad we have it, there are many who are suffering worse. Are we really better people than they are?

Our afflictions are light compared to what we deserve. We often don’t like to think about it, but we sin against God again and again. If you believe God is teaching you through your affliction, don’t you have far more to learn than He could confront in you right now?

Our afflictions are light compared to what Jesus suffered for us. There is simply no comparison between what we are going through, and all Jesus suffered spiritually, emotionally, and physically – and He suffered it all for us, not for Himself.

Our afflictions are light compared to the blessings we enjoy. In a time of affliction, we may ask God, “Why do I deserve this?” Instead, we should be asking that question in our times of blessing, which are far greater than our afflictions.

Our afflictions are light compared to the sustaining power of God’s grace. He can and does strengthen us if we will only come to Him humbly – and we anticipate that His help may come through another servant of His.

Our afflictions are light compared to the glory it leads to. God has eternal glories to work in His people through their present afflictions. Olympic athletes are willing to afflict themselves, knowing the glory it can lead to.

Your affliction may seem more painful than athletic training, but the glory is infinitely more certain, and ultimately more wonderful, than any prize this world can give.

Click here for David’s commentary on 2 Corinthians 4