Dont Let the Bullies Get You Down
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.
Remember the class bully when you were in grade school? He intimidated everyone. He was nothing but a 5-foot, 140-pound heap of trouble who scared everyone silly. Well, youre over that situation by now, but trouble is still around. In this life there is trouble…trouble with every opportunity the devil gets. The Apostle Paul said he was troubled by circumstances on every side…but on the inside he was not distressed. Paul fixed his attention, not on external circumstances, but on the light of the gospel in his inner man, because thats where the excellency of Gods power is. Knowing the truth will always make you free. Were perplexed, he said. The Greek word for perplexed means to be cornered by the circumstances. But were not in despair. In other words, even when it looks like theres no way out, I can find a way out if I look to the Word thats living in me. Persecuted, but not forsaken. If Im persecuted on the outside, how do I know God hasnt forsaken me? Because when I look on the inside, I can hear Jesus saying, Ill never leave you nor forsake you, even to the ends of the earth. Perplexed…persecuted…cast down. Theres no doubt about it, Paul was under more pressure than most of us today will ever experience. But he handled it…and so can you if youll do the following three things: 1) Remember where the pressure is coming fromthe outside! And remember where your life force comes fromthe inside! 2) Stop running on a spiritual deficit. Take time to feed your inner man with the Word of God. Fast your body if necessary and feast your spirit on the Word so your inner man can get stronger more quickly. 3) Focus on Jesus inside you until your inner picture of Him is bigger than the outside situations youre facing. If youll build up your spirit man in those three ways, when pressure comes, it wont affect you like it may be doing today. Soon, the problems that are knocking you flat wont even bother you anymore. Remember the bully? He couldnt even make you blink today, now that youre 6 feet tall. What happened? What changed? You grew. Youre stronger now. Hes no longer a threat. Thats what happened to Paul. He grew! He kept feeding on the Word until the image of Jesus within him grew bigger than the pressures around him. So just keep feeding your spirit man on the Word. Get strong on the inside. And dont let the bullies get you down!Zechariah 12-13; Psalm 147I am troubled on every side, yet not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed. The life of Jesus is made manifest in me. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10
Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:8-12