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Devotionals 2003

Hard-Pressed - Part 2
February 26, 2003By Ed Wrather

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but nor 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. - 2 Corinthians 4:8-11. 

John Opp was sleeping in a CSX rail car on a bed of lime rock gravel when he had a rude awakening. He was awakened when more of the lime rock gravel was poured into the train car and Opp was buried up to his neck in the gravel. Rail workers heard Opp screaming and called for help to free him. Tom Francis, a spokesman for the Jacksonville Fire-Rescue said, “He seems to be OK … in the sense that there were no visible injuries; no compound fractures.” Opp, who is 24 years old, told police that he had been forced to try riding the rails home to Minnesota after being robbed in West Palm Beach, Florida. 

John Opp knows what it is like to be hard-pressed on every side. It was not a pleasant experience as evidenced by Opp’s screaming and flailing about. The apostle Paul knew all about being hard-pressed as well and very possibly you may know what it is like too. A fact of life is that at some point everyone will experience some problems. Job shared, “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble (Job 14:1).” Things have not changed much since the time of Job. John Opp most likely would testify to that. 

There are several ways we can face the pressure of life. The way many try to handle pressure is by “screaming” and “flailing” about. It may result in someone rescuing you but most likely it will not be a long-term solution. Another approach is that of the apostle Paul’s. Paul realized that the pressure of life was only temporary, and he also saw and understood an amazing thing. What Paul could see and understood was that the more pressure he was under the more of Christ that was evident in his life. The weaker Paul became physically the stronger he became spiritually as the Lord manifested Himself in Paul’s life (John 14:21). 

What hope do you have? Who will help you in your time of trouble? Who will sustain you when the pressure is becoming stronger and stronger? The writer of Hebrews says, “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” We must look beyond this world and remember that just as our Lord Jesus was victorious and rose again - so will we who know Him as our Savior. We may be hard-pressed but through the great sacrifice of our Lord we will never be destroyed. 

So, the next time you are tempted to start screaming and flailing about remember that your Lord is with you and He will never ever forsake you.

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