We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed-
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Some days are hard to get through, and I’ve had quite a few of those days lately. We all face tough times. Maybe it’s the little things that add up and drive us crazy or maybe we are facing much bigger problems in life. Either way we can take comfort in God’s promises. He is faithful!
God has continued to place this verse from 2 Corinthians in front of me over the past few months. I have been facing a rather large trial in my life and the words that Paul wrote, speak volumes to me. I would like for us to take a look at the situations Paul describes and how it affects our lives today.
hard-pressed, yet not crushed…
When I think of being hard-pressed, I imagine being in a trash compactor. The walls are closing in on me and soon I’ll be pressed into a small little box. It’s a feeling of being trapped. Hard-ships will come in life but with God’s help we can face them. We may be hard pressed, but He will not allow us to be trapped or crushed by life’s troubles.
perplexed, but not in despair…
Have you ever felt so overwhelmed that you just didn’t know what to do next? I think we’ve all been there. Life can seem so complicated and confusing. There’s so much to do and so many things that demand our attention. Sometimes it feels like there is no way out. Maybe you are dealing with the grief of losing a loved one or struggling at work. Whatever your circumstance, I pray that you will be encouraged. You have a Heavenly Father who loves you. You don’t have to be in despair because God is in control and we can rely on Him fully to see us through these trials.
persecuted, but not forsaken…
There are different ways to be persecuted. It can literally mean that someone is trying to hurt you physically, or it can be in the form of a verbal attack. It can also be a general feeling that people don’t like you because of your beliefs. I know in my life I have felt this kind of persecution, sometimes even from people I’m close to. I have been questioned about my faith in Jesus on many occasions. I think questions are a great way to open up a discussion about Jesus, but when that discussion turns ugly, it can be a daunting task to keep it together and not lash out. In these times, I try to remember that I’m in good company. The Bible tells us that every Christian will face some kind of persecution. But the great news is that God promises to never forsake us! We can have complete confidence that He will never leave us!
struck down, but not destroyed…
Life is hard! Really hard. Sometimes things don’t work out the way we planned and reality hits us hard. When a huge emergency pops up in our life, it’s easy to feel like we’ve been struck down. But we are only temporarily knocked down, not knocked out. God is there to pick us up, dust us off and send us back out into the world again. We haven’t been destroyed, we have become stronger.
I have been in each and every one of these situations. I been hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted and struck down. I have felt despair and sometimes it has overtaken me completely. But God has not forgotten me or left me alone to face these trials by myself. He has shown me His love and He has fulfilled His promise to see me through it every step of the way. I am so grateful that God has continued to put this verse in front of me over and over again. Every time I read it, I find the strength to face the trials of life and to have faith in hard times.
I pray that whatever trial you are facing right now, you will know that you are not alone. God understands that life is hard. And He has given you the same promise, He has given to me. He will never leave you or forsake you. He loves you and He will get you through it. All you need is a little faith in hard times.
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Connie Rowland is the creator of Master's Hand Collection, A series of Christian digital artwork that depicts God's hand in our lives. Each picture features an inspirational word spelled out in American Sign Language with a corresponding Bible verse. Join "In the Studio" for your Free Printable Artwork.
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