2 Corinthians 4:8-12
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;…
I. THE TRIALS ENCOUNTERED IN THE CAUSE OF CHRIST ARE SOMETIMES VERY GREAT. "We are troubled on every side." The man who is earnestly engaged in any cause in this world will have to encounter trials. The old prophets had theirs; some were insulted, some incarcerated, some martyred. So with John the Baptist, and so with the apostles, so with the confessors, reformers, and revivalists.
II. HOWEVER GREAT THE TRIALS ENCOUNTERED, THEY ARE NOT BEYOND BEARING. "Yet not distressed," or straitened; though "perplexed," or bewildered, yet not benighted; though "persecuted," or pursued, yet not "forsaken," or abandoned; though "cast down," or stricken down with a blow, yet not perishing. The true labourer in the cause of Christ, however great his trials, is always supported —
1. By the approbation of his own conscience.
2. By the encouraging results of his own labours.
3. By the sustaining strength of God. "As thy days, so shall thy strength be."
III. THE RIGHT BEARING OF THESE TRIALS SUBSERVES THE GOOD OF SOULS. In the right bearing of these sufferings the sufferer —
1. Reveals the life of Christ to others (ver. 10). Who that has witnessed the true Christian languishing on the bed of suffering and death has not seen the spirit of the life of Christ revealed?
2. Promotes in himself and others the Christian life (ver. 11). "God," says Dean Alford, "exhibits death in the living that He may also exhibit life in the dying."
(D. Thomas, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;