8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
we are perplexed, but not in despair;
“Perplexed” and “despair” are similar words in Greek, implying total despair. “Perplexed” is to be in a state of confusion as to why God allowed their problems to hit them so hard. From a human viewpoint, they saw no way out of their situation. Yet the team was not in “despair” or at their wits’ end; they never allowed their confusion to discourage them because they knew that God was sovereignly working in their troubles. Because of this, they were stressed, but not stressed out; they were at the point of defeat, but not at the place where they were utterly baffled.
Although ministry may have many perplexities, we do not have to have all the answers.
The enemies of ministry often bring pastors to their wits’ end, where they hardly know which way to turn, but those who depend on God never give up hope or surrender to the enemy. Ministers may question the way out of the problem, but those who trust in God will never surrender or give up hope.
Although we may see no way out of our problem, God is in control of our situation, and He sees the end from the beginning. God uses trial to build the believer. The end of our resources is not the ending of God’s provisions. The cessation of trusting self is the place where God works.