10 Sep “For All” – Day Twelve
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 NLT – “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.”
Observation: As we experience suffering, Jesus also endured it in his life, but he was able to overcome whatever was thrown his way. In the same way, we are able to overcome life’s obstacles through the presence of Christ within our lives. Troubles may come, pressure may be applied, we may even doubt that God is with us, but God views our struggles from the end and not the beginning. As long as we keep our sights on God, we have already won the battle! Like Jesus, we will suffer in life but we will not fail.
Application: Have you ever had an experience where your life flashed before your eyes, I mean, really? Last year I did. I’m one of those crazy people who likes to commute to and from work by bicycle. You can already see where this is going. One day, while riding my bike home, it began to rain. By rain, I mean it was a torrential downpour. This was the, can’t-see-your-own-hand-in-front-of-your-face kind of rain. About three blocks from my apartment, I came to an intersection at the same time as a driver coming from the right on the road I was about to cross. He had a stop sign, so he stopped. I didn’t, so I didn’t. Of course he didn’t see me. Just as I passed through the intersection, he accelerated. I’m pretty sure I was going faster than he was when he hit me, but he still hit me, or rather, he hit my bike, hard enough to knock it out from under me. A basic understanding of physics will tell you that, sure enough, I kept going… through the air. I still have a big ole scar where I landed on my elbow, and my right shoulder still clicks a bit when I rotate my arm. I’m so grateful that it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been.
Aside from seeing my life flash before my eyes, I experienced something else in that moment that I will never forget. More than at any other time in my life before or since, I felt peace. Peace that defied my situation. Peace that could only come from God. I knew, deep in my soul, that no matter what happened, God was with me and would carry me through it, even if “it” was death.
This Scripture reminds us that if we are followers of Jesus, we can experience that same peace, that same security, all the time, no matter what trials we face. If you feel surrounded right now by troubles and feel suffocated by anxiety, remember that God will not let you be crushed. If you are confused by what you are going through and find yourself asking why, remember that you have hope that can never be taken away. If you are being chased down by enemies, external or internal, physical or spiritual, don’t forget who is on your side, fighting for you. His name is Jesus. He is our hope. He died to save us from our sins and then rose again, and we can receive God’s forgiveness and have new life if we believe in him. If you have been knocked down, even if it’s because of a mistake you made, remember that it is not the end. Let every scar be a reminder that you follow a scarred Savior, who conquered death so that we can have a new life redeemed by grace.
Prayer: Father, thank you for saving me through the death and life of Jesus. I know that no matter what I face, you are with me and will protect me. I love you and I choose to rest in your safe, powerful, loving arms. Help me to remember that though we are knocked down we are never destroyed. As we suffer in this life, help us to hope as Jesus did and believe that we will overcome.
Code Red J-Teamer & J-Group Leader
Micah began gathering at The Journey when he moved to Delaware to live with his father, Scott, who introduced him to the church (literally, the whole church). Micah is still trying to keep track of everyone’s name, so please bear with him. He loves serving in J-Groups and Code Red, where he gets to go below the surface with others inside the church and be the hands and feet of Jesus to those outside it.
- Check out this message, “How Do We Find Peace?” from The Journey’s “This Is War” series from our Next Steps Pastor, Abby Ecker on how to maintain your peace through the struggles in life.
- Read the full chapter of 2 Corinthians 4
- Have you ever experienced a time in your life when you felt pressed in on every side with troubles? How did you see or are now seeing God with you in the midst of those struggles?