Today’s Scripture: II Corinthians 4:7-12
7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 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.
11 Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. 12 So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.
Yesterday we went over 400,000 deaths from Covid-19 in the United States. Think about that number for just a second. One year ago how would you have felt if someone told you 400,000 people would die from a new disease in the US over the next 12 months? You would have been crushed – and rightly so. This is indeed a heartbreaking and troubling time in our lives. It feels different than other tragedies like 9-11 but maybe because it’s happening in slow motion. I think it’s important to stop and recognize the incredible sadness of this moment.
This passage from II Corinthians is Paul talking about his troubles. And yes, it seems like he was always talking about them! But this passage for some reason struck me differently. I sense a hope in the passage that I need in my life right now – maybe you do too. Even though Paul is talking about himself – I hear his words as particularly relevant to us this week.
We are living in a time when we are “pressed on every side by troubles” – but we are not crushed. We have been living through a times that are confusing and perplexing – but we are not driven to despair. We may feel like we are alone and even hunted down – but we are never abandoned by God. We have been knocked down – but we are not destroyed.
I’m not sure who needs to hear this today – maybe just me. But even though things are tough – God is with us. We may be down – but we are certainly not out. There is light coming. Thanks be to God.
God help us to remember that our troubles do not define us – they do not trap us – they do not crush us. Draw close to us and let us fully feel your comfort and encouragement and hope.
This Week’s Immerse Passages:
Day 11 pp. 125-135 1 Cor 1:1-6:20
Day 12 pp. 135-148 1 Cor 7:1-16:24
Day 13 pp. 149-164 2 Cor 1:1-13:14
Day 14 pp. 165-175 Gal 1:1-6:18
Day 15 pp. 177-190 Rom 1:1-8:30