TOPIC:“Knocked Down - But Not Out”
TEXT:II Corinthians 4:8, 9
“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but
not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.”
As we come to this message it is the last five words of verse 9 that I want us to think about: “cast down, but not destroyed.” Phillips is excellent here: “We may be knocked down but we are never knocked out.” The Living Bible has it: “We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.” Now those words express the exact thought and meaning of what the Apostle Paul is trying to get across to us. Paul was knocked to the ground many times, but he was never permanently grounded. Through all the trials, struggles and failures God always through Christ gave him the strength to get up and get back in the race.
It is interesting to note the contrast between Paul's OUTWARD CIRCUMSTANCES and INWARD COMFORT. Outwardly “troubled on every side,” inwardly “not distressed.” Outwardly “perplexed,” but inwardly “not in despair.” Outwardly “persecuted,” but inwardly “not forsaken.” Outwardly “cast down,” but inwardly “not destroyed.” As with Paul so with us. When faced with defeat, we too can have the inner strength through Christ to turn failure into victory.
To all of you who have experienced an agonizing defeat, because of whatever reason, listen to these words: You may be at the end of your ROPE, but you are not at the end of your HOPE. You may be down in the deep ditches of defeat and despair, but you need not stay there. Through Christ you can get up again and go on. As someone has put it: “Man's extremity is God's opportunity.” When we are at our worst, God is at His best. When we are down, God is up. When we can't, God can. When we are at rock bottom, God begins to work. It's true! Look at the record.
Adam was down, but God lifted him. Jacob was down, but God lifted him. Joseph was down, but God lifted him. Moses was down, but God lifted him. David was down, but God lifted him. Samson was down, but God lifted him. Peter was down, but God lifted him. . . .