“We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.” – 2 Corinthians 4:9.
I hope you have seen the touching film Lion that tells the true story of a five-year-old boy from a desperately poor village in central India, who through a tragic series of mishaps, gets lost and separated from his family. Surviving life on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of miles away from home. You may wonder how this could happen? How could circumstances and the system let him down? How could things be this bad.
Fortunately, the story has a happy ending. It shows us in the life of Saroo the will power to keep on keeping on when you would rather resign. One can find examples of endurance portrayed in almost every walk of life. They are compelling stories of grit and determination. One example is the apostle Paul. Paul had been imprisoned, flogged five times, beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, gone without sleep and food, and been in danger from various elements. Yet he remained firm in his pursuits. It is hard to come up with anybody who contributed more to the advancement of the gospel and the kingdom of God.
The goal of God for every believer is to make us into the image of Christ. But change or transformation is not without pain. It is a part of the process of becoming more Christlike. Problems are a fact of life; we must expect them. They may be like Saroo’s but problems nevertheless. Life is not a joy ride. It is not like riding Disneyland’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” where we float through the water on little boats, watching from a distance the cannon fire and the splashing water. Life is real with real pain, real problems, and real frustrations. People get sick, they experience disappointment, they shed tears, and they are touched by death.
We have a secret weapon in facing the difficulties and pressures of life. “We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.” (2 Corinthians 4:7). We are like clay pots – fragile and easily broken – but we have an anchor that prevents us from cracking under the pressures and attacks of life.
There is no doubt that what happened to Saroo gave him a different perspective. The challenges we face in life often do give us a new way of looking at the situation. Life may knock us down, but it has not knocked us out.
In his writing of this text, the Apostle Paul reminds us that quitting is not an option for the people of God, regardless of what is thrown at us or what we might have to endure or suffer for the sake of Christ. Jesus reminds us that in this world we will have trouble, but be of good cheer for He has overcome the world.
- Read 2 Corinthians 4:7-9. Because of God’s power demonstrated in Paul’s life he was able to confidently say he can be: pressed but not crushed, perplexed but not despaired, persecuted but not abandoned, and struck down but not destroyed. Discuss a time in your life when you felt God’s power carrying you through a difficult situation.
- How has your endurance through difficult or suffering helped enhance your witness for Christ?