I have been gone from the blog presence on an unplanned hiatus. Life slammed my emotions, mental health, finances, and my body. Hmmm… doesn’t that sound a bit like Job? Comparatively, my circumstances are not that drastic. Nor have I been thrown in a den of lions like Daniel, sold into slavery like Joseph, beaten and imprisoned like Paul, or crucified like Christ.
In the midst of various trials, we often feel as if we are being crushed—pressed from every side. Paul wrote about that in his letter to the Corinthians.
“We are hard pressed on every side,
but not crushed;
but not in despair;
but not abandoned;
but not destroyed”
*(2 Corinthians 4:8-9, NIV).
Look what Paul says just before that statement, “But we have. This treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2 Corinthians 4:7, NIV). Think about that for a moment, clay is rather fragile and can be easily broken. Now look again at what Paul proclaimed: we will not be crushed, in despair, abandoned, or destroyed. Hallelujah! We may feel like the person under the stone in the photo above, but Paul addresses that too.
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. . . So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. . . All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 4:8-10, 12, 15 NIV).
Paul gives some wise instructions to heed during trials that feel crushing. Those God-inspired words, of long ago, contained the means to victory for the Corinthians and still hold true today.
“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, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18, NIV).
The photo below provides a visual metaphor of Christ’s work in us. Every Christian can be represented as a beautiful flower—God’s creation. Those flowers have been “hard-pressed” as they dried and their life evaporated. As we are hard-pressed by life trials, like the flowers we will not be destroyed. The Master Artisan preserves us for the glory of God.
Dear reader, how do you fix your eyes on what is unseen when in the midst of crushing trials? What do you practice to not lose heart? Share your tips to inspire thanksgiving and glory to God.
Heavenly Father, thank You for preserving me. Thank You for Your perfect plan of redemption. Cause me to trust in You in the midst of life’s pressing trials. Make my life overflow with a grace that reaches more people causing thanksgiving and praise to You. In the mighty name of Jesus our Lord. Amen.
*The bold scripture and formatting emphasis added by me.
I am a follower of Jesus Christ, grandmother, great-grandmother, foster care parent, and trauma survivor. I enjoy sipping tea, writing devotionals, prayers, short stories, and unburdening my heart to the Lord. Check the About section if you want to read more of my story.
Copyright © 2020-2021 Musings of Manette Kay™ All rights reserved. Requests to the author and publisher, Manette Kay, for permission.
Photo 111501100 / Crushed Underneath © Andrei Stancu | Dreamstime.com
Pressed flowers image by gerrylomponmangubat22 from Pixabay.