We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.
—2 Corinthians 4:8
Sometimes people think that when they are in the will of God, they’ll have smooth sailing. However, that was not true of the apostle Paul. He seemed to face every kind of adversity imaginable. He had so many enemies who were jealous of his success that they would follow him around and undermine him, intending to actually destroy him. He had so many setbacks in life that involved beatings and physical harm. And he had a physical disability that he wanted to be healed of, but the Lord said no.
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Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians, “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed” (4:8–9).
Today lot of preachers love to focus on prosperity, and some are even classified as prosperity preachers. I think, unfortunately, they have hijacked a biblical word. For many, prosperity means you will never be sick. You will never have problems, and life is going to be just great.
The reality is that you can live a prosperous life in the will of God and still face conflict. Paul went through shipwreck on his way to Rome, but he had a prosperous journey by the will of God because of what it ultimately accomplished.
We all will face storms, difficulties, and yes, shipwrecks, in some way, shape, or form. We cannot control the circumstances that come our way, but we can control our reaction to them.
When storms come our way, when hardship strikes, what we do is our choice. We can get mad at God. We can get bitter. Or, we can completely surrender and say, “Lord, I trust You no matter what.”