Day Nineteen: Knocked Down But Not Out

Day Nineteen: Knocked Down But Not Out

by David Shannon Wooten – January 25, 2018

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.

It is impossible to live without trouble or pain. Disappointments are inevitable. Pressure from situations can cause confusion. And there is a real spiritual enemy that desires to hunt you down and destroy your faith and purpose in God.

But God never leaves you without hope. He will not allow pressure to crush you. When your enemy is all up in your face, God is right there in his face. The battle may cause you to fall flat to the ground. You may be limping through your season, but God promises you that you will not be destroyed.

Don’t let the pressure take you out.

The Apostle Paul exemplifies how to go through stuff that knocks you down, but not allow it take you out.

  1. He doesn’t focus on his ability, but he puts confidence in the power of the risen Christ who is in him (verse 7). This is not only his focus, it is a declaration that comes out of his mouth.
  2. He protects his heart from getting weary (Verse 16). When we begin to lose heart, we become unfocused. Weariness will cause us to focus on the wrong things.
  3. He is determined to keep the right perspective (verse 17 &18). Paul clearly conveys wise perspective that these troubles are creating an eternal reward. He sees these troubles as a temporary nuisance because he sees the bigger picture. Our troubled seasons are a drop in the bucket compared to our entire lifetime. And our lifetime on this earth will be even less than the drop compared to eternity. What matters most is not a comfortable or a trouble-free life; it’s what was accomplished for eternity.

You are a Champion.

Paul understood what an athlete or a solider had to endure to be a champion.

  • Champions will focus on developing character not resumes. God cannot promote us beyond our character. Nothing develops our character more, than going through trouble and straining to keep the right focus and attitude.
  • Champions make decisions that create a desired future; not decisions that create a desired present.
  • Champions focus on HOW they go through hard-times rather than getting through hard-times.
  • Champions get up, not give up. Proverbs 24:16

You will get knocked down, but you don’t have to stay down. Get Up! Keep on! Embrace the power of your risen Christ who is in you.


REFLECT:

What is God revealing about Himself through this scripture?

What do you hear God saying to you in this scripture?

How does this apply to your life?

Rephrase this scripture to a personal prayer for you. Give God thanks for how He is revealing Himself through this scripture. Request His help.

For further encouragement about prayer and hearing God’s voice, you can listen to Newspring “Frequency” sermon series at newspringlive.com/watch-read/media

WHAT PEOPLE MEAN TO HARM YOU WITH, GOD WILL USE IT TO BRING YOU TO YOUR DESTINY

Can you imagine…

  • You are promised a leadership role and to be of great influence in your near future, but instead…
  • Your brothers are jealous of your potential and despise you to the point they conspire to take your life.
  • They throw you into a pit, fake your death and tell your father that you are dead.
  • Your brothers sell you as a slave. You are taken to a foreign country.
  • You are working for free and your boss’s wife accuses you that your tried to rape her and you go to prison for something you did not do.
  • You start helping people in prison. You end up helping the right person who can possibly redeem you. This person promises to remember you and get you out of prison. But they end up forgetting you.

Do setbacks sound familiar to you? People trying to hurt you? These events are exactly what happed to Joseph in the Bible.  You can read Joseph’s details in Genesis chapters 39 through 51. Joseph was despised and rejected by family, people lied about his integrity and character, he was overlooked for promotion, he served time for a crime he did not commit, but yet we read how Joseph seemed to have the right perspective and attitude throughout the entire process.

How we adjust our attitude toward people who try to hurt us and toward the setbacks in our life is so important to what comes next in our life.

We can try to get revenge, get even, allow bitterness to rob our joy and destroy our optimism. Or we can learn from Joseph and place priority on our integrity, perspective and attitude.

We may not be able to control what happens to us, but we have the power to control what happens IN us. Attitude and perspective positions us for a better outcome.

Jimmy Dean said, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

Adjusting our “sails” toward the wind is adjusting the right attitude toward the wrong that people do against us. It’s adjusting the right perspective when circumstances do not go the way we expect them to. Our attitude and perspective determines which direction our life will sail.

Joseph made a statement that allows us to observe the foundation of his heart. Genesis 50:19-20, “But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” This is the rock solid foundation that allowed him to not crash and burn during those trying times, but rather position him to reach his purpose and destiny.

Like Joseph, we can choose to believe God has allowed us to go through trying times, but better days are coming. “I am in the place of God”. The hurtful things that people do, do not dictate our destiny. Remember, while Joseph was going through this process, God was still watching over Joseph and blessing him along the way. God blessed Joseph while working for free. God caused him to prosper (Genesis 39:3). While Joseph was in prison, God was with him, showed kindness and gave him favor with people (Genesis 39:20-21).

When God wants to favor you, NO ONE has the power to stop it.

  • God can take your destruction and turn it around and place you in your destiny.
  • God will use your setbacks and use them to “set you up” for greater things.
  • God can take the doors that have been slammed shut in your life and cover you with His favor to open greater doors.

What people mean to harm you with, God will use it for your good.

It’s Time for a Change

We desire certain areas of our life to change. We want certain circumstances to change. We want more joy. Be able to forgive more. Operate at a higher level of love or faith. We want to be out of debt or desire more money. Perform better at a skillset or in our career. We want a better job or stronger relationships within our marriage, or with our children.

But here is the deal about change…

“We cannot change the way we feel, until we begin to change what we think. And we cannot begin to see ourselves in a new place, if we don’t begin to take our mind to a new place.”

Someone once said, “The state of your life is nothing more than the state of your mind.”

The way we are thinking may be keeping us stuck. If you have tried responding to a problem the same way over and over again, then it may be time to try a different way. If your spouse, children, boss, friend or co-worker is not responding to what you are trying to say to them; then it would be worth your effort to try to communicate in a different way. Whatever the situation is, try something new.

  • Try different words
  • Try a different tone or attitude
  • Try a different time of day
  • Try a different perspective
  • Try a different route
  • Try talking to a different person
  • Try reading a new book
  • Try having a different conversation, a new topic

Albert Einstein said it like this, “You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it.”

Misinformation, misbeliefs, wrong routines and habits can cause a lot of issues in our life. They can also leave us stuck in a rut. You can be passionate about YOUR way of doing it; but if its not producing the right results, you are probably passionately wrong for that current situation.

It is possible to change our circumstances and even our life by changing the way we think. Don’t get stuck in the same ruts or patterns of thinking. If thinking the same thoughts and beliefs are not improving your life, then its time to change your mind.

We can renew our mind. God tells us we can.

Romans 12:2 – “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

  • Don’t copy old routines that don’t work or produce the right results.
  • Change the way you are thinking.

Philippians 4:8-9 – “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me–everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”

  • Fix your thoughts on what is true, right.
  • Keep putting this into practice.

If we lack wisdom, which is the ability to apply knowledge, God says ASK and He will GIVE. James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

You must renew your mind; God’s not going to do it for you.

Look at what God has given us in 2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

  • God will do his part, but we must do our part.
  • God has given us a spirit of power, a spirit of love & the ability to exercise self-discipline. We have to activate and engage in what God has given us.

Self-discipline in our thoughts helps us renew our minds. This is how transformation and change takes place. It begins by disciplining our thoughts.

Practical steps to renew our mind:

  1. Ask yourself this question, “which fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) will I intentionally display today?” Pick one and do your best to take action to display that fruit of the spirit. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
  2. Check up on yourself throughout the day… What is dominated your thoughts? Is it good or bad? Is it producing the right or wrong feeling?
  3. Exchange your thoughts. If it is the wrong thought, what is the opposite thought? Go there. Exchange resentment with love, sadness with joy, worry with peace, anxiousness with patience, rudeness/snippy with kindness, destructive attitudes with ones that will produce goodness, quitting and checking out with faithfulness, being pushy and hard-nosed with gentleness, laziness and procrastination with self-control.

Norman Vincent Peale was brilliant in teaching, writing and exemplified how having the right thoughts and mindset would impact our life in an incredible way. He simply said it this way, “Change Your Thoughts and Your World will Change.”