“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NLT, second edition)
Faith unlocks the promises of God and it shows us the power of God and it turns dreams into reality and it gives us the power to hold on in tough times.
But faith doesn’t always take you out of the problem. Faith often takes you through the problem. Faith doesn’t always take away the pain. Faith gives you the ability to handle the pain. Faith doesn’t take you out of the storm. Faith calms you in the midst of the storm.
I remember reading the stories of Corrie ten Boom, a young Dutch Christian who helped many Jews escape the Holocaust before being sent to the Nazi death camps. She said that the people who lasted in those camps were those who had the deepest faith. Why? Because faith gives you the power to hold on in tough times. It produces persistence.
Study after study has shown that probably the most important characteristic you could teach a child (and that you need in your own life) is resilience. It’s the ability to bounce back. It’s the ability to keep going. Nobody goes through life with an unbroken chain of successes. Everybody has failures and mistakes. We all embarrass ourselves. We all have pain. We all have problems. We all have pressures. The people who make it in life have resilience.
Do you know how many times I’ve wanted to resign as pastor at Saddleback Church? Just every Monday morning. I go, “God, it’s too big. It’s too many people, too much responsibility. I’m not smart enough. What am I supposed to say to that many people? Get somebody else who can do a better job than this.”
Yet God says, “Keep going.”
Where do you get the resilience to keep going? Faith. It’s believing God could do something any moment that could change the direction of your life, and you don’t want to miss it, so you keep moving forward. It’s believing that God will give you exactly what you need when you need it as you learn to rely on him to accomplish his purpose in you.
This is the testimony of Paul, a great man of faith: “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NLT, second edition).