2 Corinthians 4:8-9 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
Although she only referred to it as "the distraction" my sweet friend, Lucy, battled cancer this year. She has endured multiple surgeries, chemotherapy and of course hair loss. Her smile has never left her face. She may have had cancer but cancer did not have her. She has not been crushed. She would not despair. She will not be destroyed. This is all possible because she has not been abandoned.
This morning I am reading, 2 Corinthians 4. Paul is addressing trials in this chapter. Every one of us has difficult days and seasons. It seems that some Christians gracefully glide through trials while others fall prey to despair and struggle even holding onto their faith. My Lucy is a glider. She has clearly applied the truth of this passage to her life. If I'm going to be a glider, I'll have to as well.
Paul presents three keys to peace during trying times:
- God's mercy (Verse 1) - It is because of God's mercy that Paul does not "lose heart". Gripping God's mercy means my glass turns "half full". Those with the glass "half full" have a glass that's brimming with gratitude. They see their circumstances as much for what God has spared them from as what they are enduring.
- Time With Jesus (Verse 16) - Paul notes that no matter how difficult things are on the outside, he can be content on the inside where Jesus offers daily renewal. When I stay connected to Jesus, that consistent time with Him fills my heart with praise and sweeps away doubt, fear and negativity.
- Perspective (Verse 17) - Paul labels his troubles "light and momentary". He is able to do that through the power of perspective. His eyes were fixed on what is unseen (Verse 18). When I fasten my eyes on Jesus, my troubles in life seem fleeting and His heaven imminent.
Thank you, Jesus, for Your mercy, perspective and willingness to meet with me. Thank you for Your sweet promise to walk with me when I feel pressed, perplexed, persecuted or struck down. Your love carried Lucy. Your love can carry me.