“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;” 2 Corinthians 4:7-9
These are verses we all love to go to in hard times. And they stand alone very well, but if you have a moment, I would encourage you to read the whole of chapter 4. Note how it starts and ends with the phrase “we will not lose heart.” We, as a nation, as a church, as families, are going through a rough patch right now. Paul’s entire ministry life was a rough patch (cf. Acts 9:16) and yet he didn’t lose heart or stay down because his eyes were fixed on the eternal prize (2 Cor. 4:18). Let’s try to remember throughout this and any other trial Satan sends our way that our hope is NOT in this world. With Christ, we can live to fight another day until He takes us home. I love this purely physical story of Andrew Jackson’s persistence. Maybe it will help you as it has helped me to not stay down! 🙂 PS
The story is told that Andrew Jackson’s boyhood friends just couldn’t understand how he became a famous general and then the President of the United States. They knew of other men who had greater talent but who never succeeded. One of Jackson’s friends said, “Why, Jim Brown, who lived right down the pike from Jackson, was not only smarter but he could throw Andy three times out of four in a wrestling match. But look where Andy is now.” Another friend responded, “How did there happen to be a fourth time? Didn’t they usually say three times and out?” “Sure, they were supposed to, but not Andy. He would never admit he was beat — he would never stay ‘throwed.’ Jim Brown would get tired, and on the fourth try Andrew Jackson would throw him and be the winner.” Picking up on that idea, someone has said, “The thing that counts is not how many times you are ‘throwed,’ but whether you are willing to stay ‘throwed’.” We may face setbacks, but we must take courage and go forward in faith. Then, through the Holy Spirit’s power we can be the eventual victor over sin and the world. The battle is the Lord’s, so there is no excuse for us to stay “throwed”!