We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Cor 4:8-9)
Have you ever felt like your life was shattered by unpredictable troubles? How do you cope with your difficulties and anxieties? In the above verse, the apostle Paul described four devastating experiences and how each crisis was turned around. These troubles show that Paul was weak, yet he was not defeated. This tells us that God gives strength to the weak and also works through weak people like Paul.
We all have troubles. There are always going to be ups and downs in life. We need to have the strength from God to go through hard times, and particularly, through the storms of life. The storms of life can be losing a family member, serious illness, natural disasters, accidents, war, or financial crisis. Paul found that intense pressures led him to depend on God all the more (2 Cor 1:9). How do you respond to pressures that feel overwhelming? Paul was also misunderstood, rejected, and attacked in his ministry. How do you overcome the stress and pain that come from suffering similar things?
In times of weakness, we need to stay connected to God through unceasing prayers and meditation of His Word. The Bible is filled with God’s promises and the stories of triumph of the old saints who were delivered by God out of their troubles. We are encouraged by God’s words, as He said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9). The key to Paul’s perseverance and victory was not his own strength but his trust in God to sustain him through each crisis.
But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isa 40:31)
When things go amiss, it is easy to feel vulnerable, frustrated, sad, or lost. But the Bible sharpens our vision and helps us find hope, courage, comfort, and light. In patience and trust, we are strengthened with the help and power from God to face our tribulations. Knowing that God is on our side, we do not lose heart and can be resilient like eagles soaring above the storm.