Hard Pressed but not Crushed.
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair” (2 Corinthians 4:8)
So here we are in lockdown. The walls of what we’re allowed to do are really closing in aren’t they? This is going to be a hard time for all of us, and we’re going to need to help each other get through it.
This morning I think of these words that the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians. Paul knew a thing or two about being hard pressed, having been unjustly imprisoned on several occasions and dogged by adversaries at every step of his evangelistic career. He knew what it was to be perplexed, having questions you can’t answer and concerns you can’t readily resolve.
Let’s learn from him and what he went through. With the strength of Jesus Christ, he knew that it was possible to be hard pressed on every side but not crushed. With the hope of Jesus Christ, he knew what it was to be perplexed, but not in despair.
If that’s you this morning: feeling hard pressed or perplexed, or both, I hope you take some comfort from this. You won’t be crushed. You don’t need to despair.
I love what Gandalf said in The Lord of the Rings: “despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt; we do not.” Things might be hard, we might not see the end of all this, but let’s steer our minds away from despair. In Jesus we have a “living hope” (1 Peter 1:3), so let’s face every day with courage and trust Him for what comes next.
Don’t despair. Don’t lose heart. If we put our hope in Jesus, He will sustain us through this time and bring us out stronger on the other side.