“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” — 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
A Changing World
Life is filled with change. Summer was hot but fall is bringing cooler weather. The leaves are dropping off the trees. The moon was full last night but it will change. Today the sun is shining but it might rain again in a few days. Presently, we may enjoy good health, but sickness could jump on us at any moment. Some days we get a paycheck and other days we pay a big bill.
In a changing world, we need stability and direction. In the Bible, we see an accurate record of people enduring drastic changes and overcoming challenges. For many years, the Apostle Paul traveled as a preacher, church starter and missionary. Though he respected the laws of the various places where he went, some people convinced the authorities to arrest him to try to stop him from preaching about Christ.
Suddenly, an active man had to be still and he suffered much in several dungeons. Even so, he refused to be discouraged, and he encouraged others who were troubled. How could churches keep going if they lost their right arm? Paul kept a positive attitude. “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).
During painful, quiet times, the Lord inspired Paul to write letters. He acknowledged the suffering but was triumphant over trouble. “To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless” (1 Corinthians 4:11).
And Paul continues to inspire people now. “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-13).
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Ga.
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