We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted by not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; (II Corinthians 4:8-9)
Troubled. Perplexed. Persecuted. Cast down. Yep. I can identify easily with those words … and feelings. I have come to realize that it is my choice as to whether or not I stay in them, though. If I look at these verses and what God promises, I see that I need not be distressed, be in despair, nor be forsaken or destroyed.
For me, it boils down to this: What do I focus on? Where do I allow my thoughts to stay? Do I focus on the troubles surrounding me, or the promise that I need not be distressed by them. Do I dwell on how perplexing this life of mine is, or do I truly realize I need not be in despair because God is in this whole thing with me? Though I often have no clue as to the why’s and wherefores, I can trust that He does.
I often feel persecuted by my illnesses, as if they have taken me captive. Do I settle down into those thoughts, or do I praise God that He will not forsake me? I admit to feeling “cast down” from where I was in life before my illnesses seemingly took over, yet God promises me I will not be destroyed by them.
Christmas is all about promises. The promise of the Child who was to save the world. Two thousand years later, Christians rejoice in that promise and know it was fulfilled. What do I focus on? The problem – or the promise? I don’t know about you, but I thank God for these promises that I can hang on to when there seems to be nothing else within my grasp.
Father God, I praise and thank You, for your promises. No, you do not promise an easy time in this life. But you do promise You will be with us each step of the way, buffering, protecting and loving us home. Amen and Amen, Lord. So be it!