Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Perplexed But Not Crushed

2 Corinthians 4:8

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;

Life – at times – can be unfair. I’m not talking about a pitch being two balls of the plate and called a strike unfair. I’m talking about real life – being unfair. I know a number of persons who are going through some real life struggles. I know of a few marriages that were supposed to last a lifetime – that are falling apart. I know persons who have lived healthy lives – taken good care of their bodies – facing cancer and other life threatening medical issues. I’ve heard from pastors and parishioners that are perplexed by what they see even in the pews and pulpits of the church – the Body of Christ.

We see people ready to take sides – vehemently – on issues that abound. We are still not settled – nearing a year after the election of our President. If you are against him – or for him – people on the other side will attack your views in a heartbeat. Racism is an ugly reality in our nation and yet the recent destruction and removal of Confederate statues has driven our nation to polar opposites with little harmony in sight. Love for one another is not the center of our thinking as a nation or even as a church at times.

Today I hear the voice of Paul as he writes – 2 Corinthians 4:8 – We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair. Here’s today’s passage in partial context. 2 Corinthians 4:1–12 – 1 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

As we are pressed on every side in our society and even in our local church at times – we should hear God’s promise to never leave us nor forsake us – Deuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

Realize that even those with the best of intentions will not always be fair. Even when we strive for the same cause – things will not always line up the same. My wife and I have been married for 37 years plus and we still have times when we are not on the same page. But God is always there to comfort – to strengthen – to carry us through the unjust – the unfair. We may feel perplexed but my prayer is that we don’t feel crushed. Let us turn our hearts to Jesus.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

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August 30, 2017 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Hey, Ray — Every thought very well put. Thanks. Hope all is well with you and yours. Richard D. Cairnes

    Like

    Comment by Rich Cairnes | August 30, 2017 | Reply


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