July 28, 2022, 10:00 AM



God’s Word is Enough


2 Corinthians 4:7-9


7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.


I have been thinking a lot this week about my cooking failures. One of the first was when I was cooking dinner for the family, and I was making spaghetti. I got a general recipe from my mom, who was resting due to her multiple sclerosis. Onion, garlic, tomato sauce and paste, basil and oregano was her go to for marinara (we just called it spaghetti sauce). I was confident with the recipe but when I opened the spice cabinet there were so many other choices, how about thyme, marjoram (sounded cool) maybe rosemary, fennel, red pepper? I really don’t remember what all I put in, but it was more than my mom’s recipe called for. It was ok, no hospital visits required but also, I never tried to make it that way again. How about when you leave out ingredients? Forget the salt, or vinegar, or cream of tartar can you imagine the result? How about the time you made a cake and got it in the oven and realized you forgot the eggs? That didn’t turn out good I can tell you.

I think we tend to do that when we read scripture. We don’t always follow the script exactly. In our minds, as we read, I think sometimes we add or subtract words. Take the above scripture from 2 Corinthians 4, if we are depressed or down on ourselves, we might skip a few words . . . hard pressed on every side, crushed, perplexed, in despair, persecuted, abandoned: struck down, destroyed. Now this version is very different than Paul’s hope filled words, but if would play to our soulish nature or self-pity. The Bible is completely accurate and able to divide between the soul and the marrow. We see the danger of leaving words out, how about when we add a few words. The apostle Paul wasn’t telling the church to add a few words either . . . It may feel that we are hard pressed on every side, gives the impression that the oppression is mostly in our minds. We sometimes over personalize scripture and miss the two-edged sword. Paul was most certainly hard pressed on every side. He got grief constantly from the Jews, from the Romans, from the town officials, and from businesspeople and common people. There were times when a friend one week would throw stones at him the following week. In the midst of being hard pressed Paul knew he was not crushed. It wasn’t a feeling of not being crushed, rather it was a certainty. Let’s talk about perplexed. Paul spent two years in a Cesarean jail. Paul didn’t feel perplexed, Paul was perplexed. With the same certainty that he was perplexed was his confidence in God. Paul was perplexed about the future, but not in despair. God had told him that he was going to Rome. Paul didn’t give up on that promise of God. God cannot lie. Paul didn’t just feel persecuted or feel struck down he lived it. Paul lived it all. One the one hand he was indeed persecuted, struck down, hard pressed and perplexed he was also not crushed, not in despair not abandoned and not destroyed.

So where are you in this struggle? Are you adding things to God’s word or are you taking things away? Let me encourage you in your struggle to trust that God’s Word is exactly what it is, and God’s word is totally able to deliver you, encourage you, heal you, lead you and make you into the image of His Son. God’s word is enough. Is it enough for you? It is if you let it.



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