We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
As Gwen and I traveled on our journey we experienced many of these, beginning with the pressure from every direction in which we found it difficult to gain our footing and get our bearings. But it did not crush us so that we were rendered useless or ruined.
There were times when we didn’t understand why painful things were happening to Gwen, a dear child of God. We were perplexed at why God would allow such a challenge to her well-being and even her life, and the uncertainty as to how we were to proceed. But God did not allow us to feel alone or give us a spirit of despair. He accomplished this in our lives by being there for us each step of the way, and nurturing and encouraging us at every juncture.
He gave us hundreds of people to surround the throne of grace petitioning Him on Gwen’s behalf. Contrary to being tired of hearing about Gwen and her needs, God awakened the saints in the midst of their sleep just to tell them to get up and pray because she needed it. It was a humbling experience for us to know that so many had already been called upon to intercede for her.
When we felt the piling on of one difficult problem after another with little opportunity to catch our breath, or received news that we didn’t want to hear accompanied by another setback, and to be told that all earthly hope was gone and we were on our own—we found ourselves feeling persecuted to some degree. We also knew that that was a lie from Satan who would love for us to believe that our Lord was not able or loving enough to care about us.
Psalm 23 has given me hope and courage many times during the course of battle. Verse 4 says:
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
God promised to remain with us through all forms of adversity—not just send support, but to be with us himself. He did exactly that. In Psalm 91 Verses 14–16, we read:
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
I cannot feel abandoned by God regardless of Satan’s accusations. God assures me of His deep and intimate involvement in my life, in Gwen’s life at all times. Satan is a liar—we are not abandoned, and Satan cannot steal us away from our Father, and that is God’s promise in John 10:29:
“My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”
In the end of 2 Corinthians 4:9, “struck down” indicates that we have been overtaken by the enemy to the point of being attacked and knocked down with a powerful blow, but not a fatal one. We are able to rise up again in His power, because He has not allowed it to destroy us.
2 Corinthians 4:16–18 assures us:
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
We did not fix our eyes on Gwen’s outward appearance resulting from the cancer, but on what was not seen. We refused to lose heart; instead, we were taking God at His Word that He would complete the work He had begun. He is able to do more than we can ask or imagine.
With God all things are possible, and He can make a way where there seems to be no way. In all of what I read in Scripture, there is no indication that pursuing the things of God and walking with Him guarantees that we will not face difficult times. On the contrary—we are to face many battles, and they will be difficult to the point of feeling pressed on every side, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down. But if we remain in Him and His Word remains in us, we won’t despair or feel crushed, abandoned, or destroyed.
Have you been through a situation in which you have dealt with this in the past or now? Please leave a Comment Here.