Vol. 6, No. 27 – July 4, 2021
Obstacles at the Right Time
2 Corinthians 4:8-10
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed: perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. –2 Corinthians 4:8:10
The obstacles of our new country seemed like walls to those of our early settlements. The people that came to America did so to escape the persecution, particularly religious. They also wanted to escape government intervention in their lives, including high taxes, regulations regarding their trade partners, control of their laws, and exorbitant pricing of import items. We seem to be drifting back to those controls because of our own government’s liberal policies and controls. Thus, our dangers are not bound in the actions of other countries; however, those dangers are present. Our dangers and obstacles are greater within our own country; more so than any time in our history.
Not all obstacles are bad. Opportunity’s favorite disguise is an obstacle. Conflict is most often a meeting of an obstacle on our road to answers, freedom, protection of life, and choice. When choosing the right to fight oppressive government and dangers in the culture, the fight is good; the fight is proof that a nation of laws and righteous people have not quit their pursuit.
Paul expressed a stance in our opening verses that we ought to read multiple times (2 Corinthians 4:8-10). Indeed, we ought not stop here too quickly, but read on.
Being a believer does not remove us from the world and its problems (in the present), there is a sense that our present equips us to live our lives in the victory that is both present and eternal. No one is immune to problems in this life. Our brave and focused citizens of our earlier country were patriots, and mostly fundamentally sound in their understanding of the Scriptures. Unfortunately, that has changed over the years. Today our nations statistics regarding numbers of believers and numbers of those who are active in their faith is disappointing. Sad to say, the further back we go in our country’s history, the more different the values were, than they are today.
Life can be full of obstacles and problems. Even a lion must fight off flies. Growth does not eliminate obstacles; new ones are created, and the strong must decide how to ward off the new philosophies of a country that wants government to serve their every whim.
We dare not, as believers, give up the presence of our great God. He is always working in us, with us, and walking with us.
In the midst of trials, God would remind us that He wants us to grow. Trials give us an opportunity to grow, not die. Obstacles can detour us, but only if we stop. Obstacles make us think of what we really believe. They often re-introduce us to our inner spiritual standings. Obstacles often bring struggles, but for the believer, they are never everlasting.
Obstacles are indeed a part of life. Jesus said, I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart. I have overcome the world –John 16:33. Jesus does not say there will be no storms (that is what we want Him to say). He really says trust Me.
While God never promises a life of ease, He does teach us that all things are possible to those who believe.
In the presence of trouble, some people grow [as if having] wings; others buy crutches –Harold Ruoff