Afflicted but not crushed

My life is a puzzle and paradox.  Yours too probably.  Some moments I can be so high.  Other moments I can be so low and discouraged.  Sometimes I am both at the same time.  Paul seems to understand.  “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed” he says in 2 Corinthians 4:8.  “Pressed on every side” is the best translation.  Surrounded!  Trapped in our stress!  Even so, he continues, we are not crushed–“not pushed into a corner with no way out” is the literal translation.  In our worst moments, we still have opportunities for honoring the Lord.  We are never without options!  NOTHING can crush His unconquerable LIFE out of our hearts.  (Think of the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7)  Why would God make us so powerful and yet so vulnerable?  Is there a purpose served by making us strong and weak at same time?  Paul says yes!  I hope you are reading and thinking as he addresses this mystery of life.  Know of my prayers for you as you do.

Author: Don Guthrie

Don Guthrie is the Senior Pastor at FBCSA.

0 thoughts on “Afflicted but not crushed”

  1. Father,

    We thank you for the abundant life you give us…that from Deep to deep you call us daily into the more that can only be found in You.

    Phil 3: 7-16 (NASB) But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

    Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.

    Phil 3: 7-16 (AMP) But whatever former things I had that might have been gains to me, I have come to consider as [[a]one combined] loss for Christ’s sake.

    Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One),

    And that I may [actually] be found and known as in Him, not having any [self-achieved] righteousness that can be called my own, based on my obedience to the Law’s demands (ritualistic uprightness and supposed right standing with God thus acquired), but possessing that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ (the Anointed One), the [truly] right standing with God, which comes from God by [saving] faith.

    [FOR MY DETERMINED PURPOSE IS] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [[b]which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope] That if possible I may attain to the [[c]spiritual and moral] resurrection [THAT LIFTS ME ] out from among the dead [EVEN WHILE IN THE BODY].

    Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own.

    I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [IT IS MY ONE ASPIRATION]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,

    I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.

    So let those [of us] who are spiritually mature and full-grown have this mind and hold these convictions; and if in any respect you have a different attitude of mind, God will make that clear to you also.

    Only let us hold true to what we have already attained and walk and order our lives by that.

    {To Your Glory Alone!}

    Amen

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