Summary: It’s good to know that it does not matter how many times we get knocked down, just as long as we get up again? And the good thing about this is the fact that when we do get back up, we may not have our full balance and composure, but just the mere effort
“KNOCKED DOWN, BUT NOT KNOCKED OUT!!”
8. We may be troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9. Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.
In the sport of boxing there are all kinds of ways that a boxer can be considered technically knocked out. If a boxer is knocked down, and unable to get up to his feet and gain his balance and composure before the referee counts to 10, he is considered technically knocked out. And if and when he gets to his feet, he’s given a standing 8 count. If the referee feels that though the fighter is on his feet but he’s in no condition to continue the fight, the referee will stop the fight, and the boxer is considered technically knocked out. Then there’s the three knock down rule.**
But isn’t it good to know that it does not matter how many times we get knocked down, just as long as we get back up again? And the good thing about this is the fact that when we do get back up, we may not have our full balance and composure, but just the mere effort of us trying to get up, grabs God immediate attention. Our efforts to get up make God sit straight up. Our efforts in trying to get up, excites God because our weaknesses presents God with an opportunity to show up. The Bible teaches us that it’s in our weakest state that God’s strength is made perfect. And because of the fact that God always shows up in our weakest moments, every time we’re knocked down in life by some tribulation, some disappointment, by some heart break, by trials we go through everyday, as long as we get back up the fight is not over. I’m looking this morning at a church full of fighters. You may not know that you are a fighter, but just the simple fact that you’re still here and still holding on despite all the hell you’ve gone through tells me you’re a fighter. Life will through an unexpected blow and knock you clean off your feet. Is there anybody in here that’s been hit with something in life that left you totally numb? A fighter can train all he can; be in the best shape of his life, and still get hit and knocked down by an unsuspecting punch. Thus it is with us. I don’t care how much Bible you know, nor does it matter how strong and prayed up you are life will hit you with a blow that will literally knock you senseless. Don’t get me wrong. It pays to be prayed up and it pays to study and learn the word, because that’s your training. And it’s according to how well a fighter train that determines how fast he recovers from a serious knock down.
It’s not that we’re never beaten, but we’re never ultimately defeated. We may lose a battle, but if you know like I know, we’re going to win the war. We may be knocked down, but we’re not knocked out. For the Bible says, that “the steps of a good man is ordered by the Lord, though he falls, he is not utterly destroyed.” Is there anybody in here that’s like me? You know you’re going to make it. You know you’re going to win this fight. Not only am I a fighter but I’m also a survivor. Are there any survivors in the house? I’m like Destiny’s child song survivor. I’m a survivor, I’m not gon give up, I’m not gon stop, I’m gon work harder, I’m a survivor, I’m gonna make it, I will survive, Keep on surviving. Some of yall got to excuse the survivors in here a minute. We’re excited about where God is bringing us and what He’s doing our life. After all the hell we’ve been through, we’re still here. We still have our right mind. We still have our joy. And most of all no matter what we still can get our praise on.
And what better person to talk about being knocked down but not knocked out, than Paul; The author of our text. At one point in his life he dealt with an issue he had. He had a thorn in his flesh. Listen to what he says in 2 Corinthians 12:7-8: (amplified version)
7 And to keep me from being puffed up and too much elated by the exceeding greatness (preeminence) of these revelations, there was given me a thorn ([a]a splinter) in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to rack and buffet and harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted. 8 Three times I called upon the Lord and besought [Him] about this and begged that it might depart from me;