Listen to this devotional:
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 – We are hedged in (pressed) on every side [troubled and oppressed in every way], but not cramped or crushed; we suffer embarrassments and are perplexed and are unable to find a way out, but not driven to despair. We are (persecuted and hard driven) pursued, but not deserted [to stand alone]; we are struck down to the ground, but never struck out and destroyed. (AMP)
When my husband and I were vacationing in Portugal, we were told very proudly by the Portuguese people about the growth and export of cork. They told us that cork was the bark from the oak tree family, which was stripped every so many years and would reproduce itself. This process was very messy because many insects made their nests in the crevices and would not hesitate to attack and sting the ones invading their home.
One of the most interesting characteristics of cork is its buoyancy. It can be dropped into water and held under, and when released, it will immediately bounce up to the surface. Paul goes to great lengths to describe the circumstances of many believers with all the negative possibilities. Then he ends up triumphantly: we are struck down to the ground but never struck out and destroyed. We can be held down and under by the waters of adversity, but when released, we surface immediately.
What a tremendous example to our non-Christian friends and loved ones. We experience the same difficulties as those who do not believe in the living Lord, but we accept these difficulties with a difference: we have the ability to bounce back with the help of our Saviour, Redeemer, and Friend.
Prayer: Our gracious heavenly Father, help us never to allow the enemy of our souls to diminish the wonder, the cost, and the sacrifice, of Your provision of the great plan for our salvation. We make this request in the name of Your Son and our Saviour, Christ Jesus. Amen.