Qualifying Phrases

The winds blew and beat against that house;
yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
                                      —Matthew 7:25

Disappointment and despair come at you with hurricane force, packing a devastating punch. If you’ve been through such a storm, or are in one now, you know how overwhelming it can be.

And even if today’s sky is clear, you’ve been around long enough to know that a storm may be in tomorrow’s forecast.

The names of your storms may look a lot like the apostle Paul’s: Troubled, Perplexed, Persecuted, Knocked Down.

But Paul added some qualifying phrases—qualifiers that you can claim too:

troubled … but not crushed;
perplexed … but not driven to despair;
persecuted … but not forsaken;
knocked down … but not destroyed (2 Cor. 4:8-9).

What is seen as tragedy today
may be seen as triumph when ripened by time.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas
                —Joe Barnett


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