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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hard Pressed on Every Side

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the Fiery Furnace

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair...(2 Corinthians 4:8 NIV).

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair: “I always say this to people, because in America, you see these pictures of people burning the flag and out on the street and so on,” he said on “Fox & Friends.” “You just got to understand that there is another side to all of that, which is actually people who admire America, respect it and need it to be strong. And I always say to people in America, don’t worry so much about being loved. Just be strong” (

Certainly one of the most debilitating traits on earth is the practice of being pretty much frozen when not constantly succored by the love, support, and admiration of others. Without being arrogant or cruel, we must understand as individuals and as a nation that God alone is our primary source (our “go-to guy”) for spiritual strength. Only then we will have the backbone to do what's right in the face of those who would intimidate us through coldness and rejection. This is the source from which all other strengths arise (personal and national)—the will and determination to look to Providence no matter whatever or whoever else would seek to dampen our spirit and flag our determination.

I'm sure that Prime Minister Blair would not discount a whole array of other strengths—economic, political, institutional, educational, creative, the steady practice of straight thinking, and a state of generosity and happiness. But these, each and every one, have only one firm foundation—adamant reliance in little things and big on the direct succor of God Almighty. Like Evan Baxter in Evan Almighty, faithful servants of God must act despite cold shoulders even from those we honor and whose support we long for and would cherish. 

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