8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed….
-2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (New Revised Standard Version)
The New International Version of the Bible renders the phrase afflicted in every way in a different way. . It uses the phrase hard pressed on every side. This is how the NIV Translation reads:
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.

When it comes to courage, you cannot chart it. You cannot measure its specific densi-ty. When it is displayed, a person is courageous, and when it is missing, a person is called a coward. Take note of that: COURAGEOUS OR COWARD. There is no middle ground.
In the spiritual realm, courage is ACTION. Look at Abraham, who left Ur of the Chaldees with only the promise that God would lead him. Courage is what Elijah had when he stormed into the presence of the king and said, “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, who I serve, there will be neither dew or rain in the next few years except at my word” (1 Kings 17:1).
Courage is what Daniel had when he went into his home, threw back the windows, and prayed three times a day, even though the king had passed a law forbidding prayer. Courage is what Jonah had when he walked into Nineveh, a city of perhaps half a million or more people, and announced that God would destroy the city in 40 days.
Followers of Jesus today must find courage to speak their convictions, to stand for what is right, to abide by principles, rather than expediency. Individual believers of Jesus who are courageous often pay a price for their courage. Real courage does not consider the cost. It considers only the rightness of the action that must be taken.
Where do we get courage? Paul said, “If God is for us, who can be against us” (Romans 8:31). Paul like any disciple of Christ or any man for that matter, who stands courageously for his faith and faithfulness, was troubled, yet he could say, 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;…. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). Paul could, and so you can, as you thank God and take courage.

Pastor Gideon

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