I am stronger!


2 Corinthians 4:8-9 says; “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”

Every year we start the year making these “New Year’s Resolutions”. And honestly almost all of us will not keep them. This year I have challenged myself and I challenge you also to reflect on these verses from 2 Corinthians. Rather than making a New Year’s Resolution, I’m reflecting on how much I have grown with God and looking forward to where He will take me this year.

As the scripture says; we will suffer affliction, we will be perplexed, we will be struck down. If we’re being honest, we have ALL felt this this past year. I have seen a lot of posts on social media about how awful 2021 was and that 2022 has to be better.

But if we think of 2021 through the lens of our verses from 2 Corinthians, 2021 was not all bad. We may have been afflicted, but we were not crushed. We may have been perplexed, we we were not driven to despair. We may have been struck down, but we were not destroyed.

I want you to think about your 2021. Did you suffer heartache? Did you suffer loss? Did you have life-changing or life-altering events take place?

Did you make it through? Obviously, you did since you’re reading this article. Do you have a better understanding of who God is and what He has planned for you?

Let’s look at our lives like a diamond. How are diamonds formed? When carbon is under intense pressure, a diamond is formed. Diamonds, one of the most precious gems in the world, are formed under intense pressure.

If carbon under intense pressure can make a Diamond, could you imagine what we could do when we are under pressure? No, we are not going to turn into precious gems. Rather we will be refined and reshaped to better reflect God.

This past year has put many of us under intense pressure. Did you allow that pressure to press you and refine you into something that can better reflect God?

This past year I have been pressed, but I have not been crushed. Rather, I have been pressed into a gem that is better suited to reflect who God is. Have you been pressed into a gem better suited to reflect God?


By Capt. Samantha Lockard

Your pastor speaks

The writer is a pastor and assistant corps officer with the Salvation Army Sidney/Shelby County.

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