A genuine rainbow, captured at the coastal village of Dundrum, County Down
The beginning of a New Year is a good time to look back, and also to look forward. It’s likely that many of us who reflect on the past year – the year of Coronavirus – will identity with some of the descriptions from the apostle Paul in today’s verse, 2 Corinthians 4: 8-9. “We were hard pressed on every side”… “Perplexed”… “struck down”…
Some of us have suffered serious loss in 2020; it has been a painful year for many. What Paul faced was also by no means trivial. ‘Hard pressed’ is translated, ‘afflicted.’ Perplexed means ‘to be at a loss.’ It’s also likely that ‘struck down’ is a reference to Paul’s time in Lystra, when he was stoned by a mob and literally, left for dead. But look at how Paul reacted to the circumstances he faced. “But not crushed,” “Not in despair,” “Not abandoned,” “Not destroyed.”
As we look forward to 2021, may we be encouraged by Paul to have gratitude that we haven’t been destroyed, that God hasn’t abandoned us, and that He will bring us through every challenge we may face in 2021.