Cast Down, But not Destroyed
2 Corinthians 4:9
Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

In ministering the Word, we need to play, if we may so speak, on various instruments of music. We take the silver trumpet when we would utter "the joyful sound." We take the harp when we show forth God's praise. What shall we take for encouragement and comfort to the weary? As a great poetess has it -

"Experience, like a pale musician, holds
A dulcimer of patience in his hand." Let us play on the dulcimer. A good man struggling with adversity has been the subject of many moral reflections. We want to go further than the moralist, and show how the man of God is preserved in time of trouble. What heroism in the immortal Jew of Tarsus! All the sharp ordeal through which he passed - his personal disadvantages, the disparagement by false apostles jealous of his influence, the coldness of former friends when he was in bonds at Rome, the hardship and misconstruction under which his great work had been done, - all served only to bring out more fully the singleness of his aim and fortitude of his spirit -

" And give the world assurance of a man." Struck down, but not destroyed. Trouble threw him down, as one wrestler might throw another in the arena; but the cast was not mortal. He revived, for Christ lived in him. Nay; his sufferings increased his usefulness, No follower of Christ ever made such an impression on mankind, or did so much for the gospel, as this troubled, persecuted, perplexed, cast down Paul of Tarsus. Times have changed. Religious liberty prevails. Gross forms of persecution for confessing Christ are prevented by law and condemned by public sentiment. But it does not follow that the course of a faithful Christian is made easy. It is often beset with difficulty, broken, and uneven. Good men are "cast down;" and it is painful to have the skin grazed, even when the bones are not broken. Under such disappointing experiences feeble souls are apt to become more timid and more querulous, while bolder natures grow selfish and cynical. These last, if they have been struck down when grappling with something to them impracticable or forbidden, resolve to knock others down, and, if need be for their own interest, trample on them. But natures that are sweet and sound learn wisdom, consideration for others, and knowledge of themselves through hard experience. And hearts that trust in God have this joy in the worst defeat, that they are not, they cannot be, destroyed. Life is not wrecked by every trouble or by a score of troubles. A mistake may be the very making of a man, if he knows how to correct it. If the way is blocked in one direction, other paths are open. And if helpers fail and friends forsake, God still lives. We do not, indeed, conceal from ourselves that some overthrows cannot be quite remedied in this world; some losses are irreparable on earth, just as some diseases are incurable. But no Christian needs to be inconsolable. If he be stripped of ever so much that he valued, his best treasure remains, and is above the reach of worldly vicissitude. There is a good part which shall not be taken away. Thus life is always worth living. For a brave man it cannot be utterly wrecked by misfortune. For a devout man it cannot be shattered, though once and again struck down to the ground. The good Shepherd restores the soul. But many are the uses of adversity. Remember your faults and correct them; your mistakes, and avoid them; but do not waste time in vain regrets or temper in weak complaints. What purpose does it serve to brood over disappointment and "feed with sighs the passing wind"? How much better to gird up your purpose and make the best of what is left to you of time, strength, and opportunity! You may yet stand all the more firmly because of that casting down. The ill you have suffered may lead to higher good. "Though the outward man perish, the inward man is renewed day by day." God knows how to give -

"Secret refreshings that repair your strength,
And fainting spirits uphold." F.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

WEB: pursued, yet not forsaken; struck down, yet not destroyed;

Trials in the Cause of Christ
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