Struck Down But Not Destroyed

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed…2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Ever faced a blow or a setback and you thought that’s the end? Sometimes we need to learn to differentiate between “getting struck down” and “destroyed”. Paul said,

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”

We cannot expect to live a problem-free life. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus so that His life will be revealed in us. This means you can expect to be struck down but you won’t be destroyed. You will go through an experience where you will be perplexed but you will not be in despair. There is always the safety net of God’s sufficient Grace and his power which will be made perfect in our weaknesses.

Few week’s back my both kids got sick at the same time. I had a tough time in my ministry and in my job. I thought my world was collapsing. It was then God reminded me that every storm is a perfect opportunity to see God’s power working in us and through us.

Paul was struck down many times. He faced several setbacks but every time he got knocked down he came back stronger. Once he was bitten by a venomous snake in an island. Everyone thought he was going to die. Everyone thought that’s the “final blow”. But Paul shook the snake from his hands and continued as normal. He then prayed for people in that island and people got healed and they started to think he was God!

William Carey was a British Christian missionary who went to India and translated the Bible into Bengali, Oriya, Assamese, Arabic, Marathi, Hindi and Sanskrit. Many of these languages had never been printed before; He had to create punches for the type by hand.  On 11 March 1812, a fire in the print shop caused £10,000 in damages and lost work. But he persevered and went on to print and distribute the Bible in whole or part in 44 languages and dialects. William Carey’s ministry was “struck down” when his printing press caught fire but it was not “destroyed”.

Are you facing setbacks and feeling you have been struck down? If so, it’s time for you to bounce back stronger and see the power of God working in your weaknesses.

(This message is written by Bro. Davidson Samuel who is an IT Professional / Subject Matter Expert in Banking domain, based out of Scotland, UK)

 

Will I make it?

 

The bad news is you won’t! The good news is He won’t let you down.

You of little faith, why did you doubt? (Matthew 14:31)

Have you ever felt low and ashamed immediately after a high achievement? It’s a weird feeling of discouragement that no one can explain in words. Almost the entire memory of your recent high will be masked in shame and embarrassment. We all go through this experience at some point in our life. Peter in the new testament is one of the best example who has gone through this experience. One day he received a great promise and praise from the Lord Jesus himself. Jesus said to Peter,

“Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

But immediately after this experience Peter received one of the harshest rebuke the Lord has ever given. The bible says,“Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

What would have gone through Peter’s mind after this experience? He would have got discouraged and questioned himself whether he is the right person for the job. He would have questioned the promise he received from the Lord days before he received this rebuke. He would have asked “did the Lord mistakenly gave this promise? I am so weak and fickle. Will I really make it and live up to the mark?”. May be you are going through the same experience and asking the Lord “Will I make it?”. The bad news is you won’t! The good news is He won’t let you down!

Always remember when you fall short, sometimes God will rebuke you. It doesn’t mean he will let you down and leave you there. When God rebukes you, you better behave and make things right. It’s a warning that you need to make some adjustments in your life so that you can live for the calling you received.  God will rebuke you but it doesn’t prevent God from reaching out for you. When you fall short he will reach out to you.

I enjoy playing football with my 2 year old son. I love to see those tiny feet hitting the ball with all might but the ball won’t go anywhere nearer the goal. Sometimes I notice disappointment in my son’s eyes that he couldn’t hit as far as the goal. I will see frustration in his eyes. So the next time when he kicks the ball with frustration I will immediately jump and bring the goal posts closer to where he hits the ball and shout in excitement. My son will immediately think he kicked the ball inside the goal and will start to celebrate with me. Words cannot express the excitement and sense of achievement in my son’s eyes. Even though my son fell short I reached out and brought the goals closer to where he hit.

That’s what happened when Peter tried to walk on water. The bible says, “So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came TO JESUS.”. His goal was to reach the place where Jesus was. Peter made a great achievement as he started to walk on water. But immediately after this high note he reached the lowest point as he began to “sink”. His friends in the boat would have asked each other “Will he make it?”. Have you reached this lowest point in your life? Are you asking yourself “Will I ever make it?” Peter fell short and started to sink. He didn’t reach the place where Jesus was. But the good news is Jesus reached out to him! He moved the goalposts closer to where Peter was. He caught him. The finish line came closer.

It’s better to try and make a mistake than not to try in fear of making mistakes. God wants you to try. God wants you to walk on water and doesn’t matter if you fall short. God wants you to hit the ball. He will take care of the remaining job. Your mistakes are not a surprise to God. So next time when you ask the question “Will I make it?”, remember, the answer is “No but He will do it for you!”.

(This article is written by Bro. Davidson Samuel who is an IT Professional / Subject Matter Expert in Banking domain, based out of Scotland, UK)

 

 

God Withholds No Good from You

…those who seek the LORD lack no good thing – Ps 34:10 Many popular preachers of today are those who teach people on prosperity. Those ministries that teach on prosperity are growing at a fast rate. The logic is simple, as a person, who would not want to hear that God will bless them financially. Money is after all the foundation on which most things run in the modern world. But, the fundamental thought in today’s reading is based on the fact that, they who seek God shall lack no good thing, no blessing from His providing hand.

I have been without a job for three years, but God has met all my needs during that time. My wife delivered a baby boy last year and God has enabled me to meet all the needs of the pregnancy too. No permanent income but God’s permanent grace is definitely there with me. In these three years, I have looked to God for opening a door to a new job many times. The job did not come, till the point that I asked God what he wants me to do in my free time. The answer to that prayer started my consulting practice in the area of training. Today, there is time to write articles like this and enough business to meet my needs.

The quality of your lifestyle depends on whom you seek for the things of this world.

I would encourage you to trust God as the source of all things good for you. If something is right for you, when you ask, God will give you.

Dear Lord Jesus, I pray that You will always be the source of my life. I believe that You will give me at the right time, every good thing required for my life and my family. Amen.

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CCF acknowledges with Thanks to CIM (Christian Institute of Management) for allowing to republish this article by CCF core team member, which originally was published in Management Devotional 2014 of CIM.

Do Not Fear

I sought the LORD, …He delivered me from all my fears. – Ps 34:4 Fear is the main reason for Christians not reaching their true God given potential in today’s world. Fear of failure, fear of people, fear of demons, fear of gods or satan’s retribution, etc. As the corporate guy said, FEAR is nothing but, False Expectations Appearing Real. When a situation of fear appears most Christians try to work things out rather than seek God. When a child is sick, the first thing we do is call the doctor! Two examples that can get this point across to us clearly. In the first example, a couple in Italy lived an immoral life together, enjoying every day to the fullest with multiple relationships and wild partying. The day the news about AIDS came through to the media, this couple decided that their lifestyle would certainly get them AIDS and they both committed suicide together. The fear of getting AIDS led them to this extreme step.

In another case, a couple who lived a Godly life both lost their jobs within a few days of each other. Being firmly grounded in God’s word, they sought God for his answers and favors. Today both work as a couple in taking God’s message to the unreached and under-privileged. When we planned our first concert for integrating corporate professionals in Chennai under one roof, we were afraid as to whether corporate would turn up. Also, we made a commitment of one lakh rupees to a social service organization. God took away our fear as we prayed and as we neared the program, the money miraculously came in, we gave 1.6 lakh instead of one lakh and the concert was a huge success too.

The quality of your lifestyle depends on the fears you encounter and overcome. A Christian must only fear God out of reverence for him. Every other fear in the world, Jesus has overcome first and hence gives us strength to overcome too. Dear Lord Jesus, I pray that I am delivered from all types and sorts of fear. I believe that You will help me conquer all the fear in my life and truly become what You are chiseling me to be. Amen.

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CCF acknowledges with Thanks to CIM (Christian Institute of Management) for allowing to republish this article by CCF core team member, which originally was published in Management Devotional 2014 of CIM.

Lifestyle of Praise

I will exalt the LORD at all times; His praise will always be on my lips – Ps 34:1 King David practiced what he wrote. In every situation, good or bad, he praised God. When he was in trouble, he praised God. When he won, he praised God. That is why God called him a man after his own heart.

Today, one of the standard reactions of Christians when things don’t work out is to conclude that God has forsaken them. When things go good, God is there but, when things do not go good, God is not there. The good news is that God is always there. The Bible says that God dwells in the praises of His people. We are made to praise God at times. Let me tell you that, this is much easier to preach than to practice.

Let me share about a person who was a model witness to me. He worked in my company and was retrenched from his job. He had a wife and two children and was suddenly jobless. When I expressed regret to him for losing his job, he replied cheerfully to me that, ‘God takes care of me and my family; job is just something to keep me busy’. Later, he got a job in an established company and resurrected his corporate career to a much higher level.

The one thing that has been constant in my life is the desire to be part of fellowships and to both listen and teach the word of God. When I was single, I lead a corporate fellowship at my church and today as a married man, I run a fellowship at my home. As we praise God as a family, God has seen to it that we have not lacked any good thing.

The quality of your lifestyle depends on the quality of your praise.

Make sure that you praise God, no matter what happens and God is sure to lift you up in due time.

Dear Lord Jesus, I praise You not because I want something from You but because I love You. I know that as I praise you, all things will work out for the greater good in my life. Praise You Jesus. Amen.

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CCF acknowledges with Thanks to CIM (Christian Institute of Management) for allowing to republish this article by CCF core team member, which originally was published in Management Devotional 2014 of CIM.

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