"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed."
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
The Apostle Paul is to be admired for his stamina in the face of incredible persecution. Not only did he not succumb to that nagging inner or outer voice to quit, but also had an incredible attitude about his suffering for the Lord. In his suffering he said he was troubled—pressed, like that squeezing crushing pressure used to press grapes. The idea behind this kind of pressing stress is that of being hunted. Certainly Paul understood that. There were men in many towns ready to hunt him down and crush him, if given the opportunity. He said he was troubled but not distressed—though hunted, he is not being crushed.
He said that he was perplexed—he could see no way out! Paul was not despairing. He was not without hope. The Lord was with him!
He was often persecuted—“persecuted, pursued” chased after but he knew he was not forsaken! The Lord didn’t leave him to be dogged by his enemies or put under their power. The Lord never left him without help!
And he was cast down—tracked and struck down by his hunters, but not killed. The Lord still had work for him to do.
Remember Paul is not speaking from some ivory tower so high that it doesn’t connect with the real world. He is speaking from his experience as a faithful man who suffered for his Lord far more than any of us. Above all he wanted to be a good example of the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact this is why he said, “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body…” (2 Corinthians 4:10).
In all of his pain and suffering he remembered that His Lord was with him. Paul, “Would you do it all again?” I believe his answer would be a hearty, “YES!”
If our Lord was with Paul in all of his troubles, He will be with you in yours. Look for Him there.