Persecuted but Not Forsaken

persecuted but not forsaken


But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you (2 Corinthians 4:7-12 NKJV)

In the last devotional I wrote about the tendency that many Christians have to water down the gospel, either through softening aspects of it that may seem out of touch with modern times or else by downplaying hardships that continue or perhaps even increase after becoming believers.

The passage of Scripture above is an excellent follow up to that because it shows the reality of how hard the Christian life can be.

Let’s look at the various aspects of the verses above and consider how they play out in our everyday lives as believers.

We are hard pressed, yet not crushed. We may have trouble in every aspect of our lives, but as we keep our eyes on Jesus, we’re not devastated by them.

We are perplexed, but not in despair. Honestly, there are times when I don’t understand what God is doing, or why certain things are happening in my life. No doubt that happens to you as well. In those times, we can still put our trust in the truth of the Scriptures, and remind ourselves of what God has done for us in the past, and because of that, have hope.

We are persecuted, but not forsaken. Those of us who live in the western world seldom experience genuine persecution. Yes, we may be passed over for a promotion, or perhaps not invited to the neighbor’s party because of our faith, but few of us have experienced persecution in the way it happens in some parts of the world. But even those who experience actual persecution, aren’t forsaken – even though it may feel that way. The key to this one is to remember that anything that happens in this life is temporary and that eternal things are what matters most.

We are struck down, but not destroyed. We all have times when we’re knocked down by life’s circumstances, but those things don’t destroy us. We pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off and give it another go.

The bottom line is that the Christian life isn’t necessarily any easier than the lives of those who don’t believe. In some cases, particularly in countries where true persecution exists, it can be even harder. But the thing that we as believers have going for us is that through Christ, we are able to conquer anything that comes our way.


Praying the Word

Lord, I thank You that You have given me hope through the Scriptures, and that we may be persecuted but not forsaken. Thank You for laying it out so clearly for me and reminding me that regardless of how bad things get, nothing will come my way that will completely devastate me. Thank You for never forsaking me, even in the midst of hard times.


Applying the Word

Make a list of five hard things you’ve gone through and how you made it through them even when you doubted you would. Next, jot down a hard thing you’re currently facing, and run it through the list of main points listed above. Be encouraged to know that in the same way that God has brought you through every hard time up to this point, He will continue to work on your behalf, regardless of how bad things may seem.


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