Living Free - March 30, 2016

In God’s Strength

Today's Scripture

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." - (2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NIV)

Thoughts for Today

As a caregiver, you may find yourself struggling to juggle the demands of work, personal life, and caregiving responsibilities. In addition to your caregiving obligations, you may have responsibilities to children, spouses, employers, churches, civic organizations, other people, and yourself—all competing for your time and attention. Balancing multiple demands can seem impossible and create internal conflicts and extreme stress. Sustained stress is exhausting and affects the ability to think clearly. There seems to be no escape, no relief, and no clear way out.

Consider this …

Although the situation is different, we can identify with the apostle Paul's feelings when he wrote today's scripture. Let's have a closer look at four of the words and phrases Paul used in verses 8 and 9 to describe the stress he was feeling. Can you identify with any of them? 

  • "Pressed on every side." These words give a picture of someone fighting for his life in a confined area with no apparent way out. 
  • "Perplexed." Facing sudden confusion and uncertainty. 
  • "Persecuted." Being hunted, chased, and harassed.
  • "Struck down." Thrown to the ground.

Any of these situations described could cause a person to lose hope. However, Paul understood that God was his hope. God was his strength. God would help him overcome. Let's look at those four phrases again and include the buts.  

  • "Hard pressed on every side, but not crushed." 
  • "Perplexed, but not in despair." 
  • "Persecuted, but not abandoned." 
  • "Struck down, but not destroyed."

Don't lose hope. Don't let stress overwhelm you. In God, you have hope. In God, you have strength. In God you have wisdom. Lean on him.


Father, I thank you that no matter what my circumstances, you are with me and will never abandon me. Fill me with your hope. Your strength. Your wisdom. Help me remember I can do all things through Christ. In his name . . .

These thoughts were drawn from …

Caregiving: Caring for Aging Parents by Charles Puchta. The purpose of this curriculum is to provide hope and direction to those concerned about the health and well-being of aging parents or an ill spouse or relative. We address predominate issues most families face. Each session is designed to discuss a specific area of concern such as the purpose of a caregiver or end-of-life planning. It will become clear to participants that the Bible provides encouragement and direction to help them through this caregiving journey. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a study for individuals or couples.  



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