Summary: How often have we felt the blows of life and needed to know that we are ultimately victorious in Christ? Whatever comes our way we are more than conquerors.
KNOCKED DOWN BUT NOT KNOCKED OUT
2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (Living Bible) ….. But this precious treasure – this light and power that now shine within us – is held in a perishable container, that is in our weak bodies. Everyone can see that the glorious power within must be from God and is not our own. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed and broken. We are perplexed because we don’t know why things happen as they do, but we don’t give up. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.
Henry Cooper fought Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) in 1963. Ali was expected to win the fight comprehensively but was surprisingly knocked down by Henry Coopers famous left hook early in the fight yet he climbed off the canvas to win the fight.
Remember the famous Rocky films which chronicled the brave hero Rocky Bilbao who never accepted defeat whatever his physical condition or advice from his ringside team. He got up from the canvas of the boxing ring to fight his way to victory.
A knock down is not necessarily a defeat !
The Apostle Paul honestly explains how often he had been knocked down, but just kept getting up. Life is a fight ! It contains many set backs.
1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life.
Some very well known people experienced major knock downs but got up to win.
FRED ASTAIRE – a memo circulated after his first screen test for MGM in 1933 said “Can’t act !, slightly bald !, can dance a little”
WALT DISNEY – was fired by a newspaper editor for lack of ideas. He also went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland.
ALBERT EINSTEIN – didn’t speak until he was 4, didn’t write until he was 7. His teacher described him as “mentally slow, unsociable and adrift forever in foolish dreams”. He was expelled and was refused entry to Zurich Polytechnic.
F.W.WOOLWORTH – his employers at the dry goods store said he had not enough sense to wait upon customers.
WINSTON CHURCHILL – failed at junior school. Did not become Prime Minister of Great Britain until he was 62 after a lifetime of defeats and set backs. His greatest contributions came when he was a ‘senior citizen’.
DON’T LOSE HEART !
2 Corinthians 4;16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
The great boxers were not necessarily any stronger physically than their opponents, but they were stronger inwardly.
2 Corinthians 4:16 (Living Bible) Though our bodies are dying, our inner strength in the Lord is growing every day.
We need to understand and release the power of our inner person.
Ephesians 3:16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.
Our inner man will always be stronger than our outer man, if God the Holy Spirit lives inside.
Psalm 37:23,24 If the LORD delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm;
though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.
LEARN TO TAKE A PUNCH !
Every boxer expects to be hit, however much he attempts to avoid the punches thrown at him.
2 Corinthians 4:17 (Living Bible) These troubles and sufferings of ours are, after all, quite small and won’t last very long.
Saved or unsaved, life can really pack a punch.
Sickness, sadness, failure, disappointment are experienced by us all.
Too many Christians have a ‘glass jaw’ – it shatters at first impact.
A boxer develops his ability to take a punch in the gym, during many sparring rounds in everyday training, and not in the combat of the championship bout.
Jesus promised that trouble will be followed by victory – John 16:33
We need to understand the necessity of resilience in our faith.
Ephesians 6:13 Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
GET UP AND WIN THE FIGHT !
2 Corinthians 4:18 (Living Bible) So we do not look at whatever we can see at this moment, the troubles all around us, but we look forward to the joys in heaven which we have not yet seen. The troubles will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.
Staying ‘on the canvas’ can be disastrous
1 Timothy 1:18,19 Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith.