Not Crushed

We are often troubled, but not crushed. . . (2 Corinthians 4:8, GNT).

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;
perplexed,
           but not in despair;
persecuted,
           but not abandoned;
struck down,
           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.

Prayer
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.


About Manette

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.

Published by musingsofmanettekay

Sharing bits of memoir in the format of devotionals, prayers and short stories.

20 thoughts on “Not Crushed

  1. Just this morning I said to myself, “I wonder where Manette has been?” I’m glad to see your post today! Your thoughts from Paul are very helpful to me at this point and time. I’ve read the passage you quoted a hundred times, but didn’t realize (until you pointed it out) that the “jars of clay” reference comes right before the “cast down, but not destroyed” reference. Our bodies and minds may weaken over time, but the soul never dies!

    One thing that has helped me in my journey with God is to look at my life like a big parade. I only see the part that is passing in front of me (or maybe I’m riding on a float?) , but my Heavenly Father has an aerial view. He sees the whole route in one camera shot! This “life of good works” (Eph. 2:10) He has laid out for me is beyond my comprehension. Being faithful to Him in the here and now is the best strategy (Psalm 119:106)

    Thank you, Manette. It was so good to open up the WP reader and see your post! God’s best to you always. 🙏❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  2. In reading this I thank God Who has been with you in all things. When we “Love God with all heart and soul and mind” it is easier to focus on The One instead of the thing. This is from experience, not trite theorizing. May you know the “peace that passes understanding” in the spiritual life in Christ that is “to the full”.
    Peace

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This was well timed. Your circumstances urged a wonderful post that relates to my situation….my need for extra strength and encouragement. My husband and I are alone – without family. Our adult son abandoned us several years ago, and as we get older things get harder to do. This morning we tackled a huge thing that needed the strength of two men. My husband has coronary heart disease and had to rest several times while we worked. But we got the job done, and afterward I came to my computer to rest. There I saw and read this post. Tears filled my eyes as I felt the presence of God and knew once again that He is our refuge and our strength. He has always rescued us when things seem impossible. Thanks for this post. God bless you and keep His presence and strength around you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mary Cate, I’m sorry to hear of the severed relationship with your son. I’m glad God touched you with encouragement.

      He is the God of the impossible! I pray for healing and reunification with your son. Regardless what each tomorrow brings may you never lose sight of the blessings and touch of Almighty God. He is with us each day. But in the midst of “stuff” we may need to open our eyes or change our perspective to clearly see His divine presence. Blessings.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sometimes I have serious intellectual doubts about faith in God, particularly when encountering articles or books that present questions about the history or development of the Church through the centuries, e.g. The Triumph of Christianity by Erhman. He referenced Sparks book by the same title, so I checked it out, and though I think Sparks is a believer, I was still disturbed by the humanistic approach to history.
    Then I went back to prayer and the Cross. The Cross and the Resurrection are the most validated historical events ever. There is more evidence that Jesus rose from the dead than that George Washington was our first president. So I always go back to the Cross. At times when I struggle with my faith, it is that anchor that holds me.
    “I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining. I believe in love even when not feeling it. I believe in God even when he is silent.” An inscription on a wall in a German POW camp in WWII

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Every time I went through something really tough God comforted me through His Word. But best of all, I have learned that He always works everything together for good. Also, I can see how some of the worst experiences have had taught me a lot and made me more mature. I would say that the thing that has helped me most has been to simply go to Him and pray for His help. He is faithful. Blessings, Manette!

    Liked by 1 person

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