so after looking up these verses yesterday from 2 corinthians 4, i decided to do a little greek word study on some of the terms used. very interesting. and insightful. and inspiring. and while a lot of things are all greek to me, i do love the ability to look into the “backstory” of the words used in the Bible. sometimes that brings a new understanding to some old familiar verses...
2 corinthians 4:8-9
We are troubled (THLIBO: a pressed down path, pressed hard upon, a compressed way, narrow, contracted, afflicted, distressed)
on (a fixed position in place time or state. that means there is a fixed time for this troubled on every side. it is not eternal. Someone has fixed it for a certain time and a certain place and a certain reason. the root of it is a relation of rest between two points “continually” and “questioning”: literally we are right between continual questions. wow. that speaks to a gal who seems to be continually questioning herself at this stage of life.)
every side (can mean individually AND collectively. i love the idea that nothing happens just individually, “no man is an island” as john donne wrote) ,
yet not distressed (a narrow place, dire calamity, an empty expanse. meaning that this is not eternal and it is not empty) ;
we are perplexed (APOREO: to be without resources, to be in straits, to be left wanting, to be embarrassed, to be in doubt, to be at a loss with one’s self, not to know which way to turn, from a root of “learning from an experience. or to pursue a journey”)
but not in despair (EXAPOREOMAI: same root word as the above word, APOREO, but not the EX added to it which means “away from or out of”. making it: to be utterly at loss, be utterly destitute of measures or resources, to renounce all hope, be in despair, to be in straits, to be left wanting, to be embarrassed, to be in doubt, not to know which way to turn).
Persecuted (make to run or flee, put to flight, drive away, to run swiftly in order to catch a person or thing, to run after, to press on: figuratively of one who in a race runs swiftly to reach the goal, to be mistreated, suffer persecution on account of something, to run after, follow after: someone, to pursue, to seek after eagerly, earnestly endeavour to acquire) ,
but not forsaken (abandon, desert, leave helpless, utterly forsaken, to leave behind among, to leave surviving, to forsake, leave to one's self a person or thing by ceasing to care for it, it is used of one who on being called away cannot take another with him);
cast down (put in a lower place, or to lay down a foundation),
but not destroyed (put out of the way entirely, to kill, render useless, lost, ruined, separated forever)...
and then onto verse 17
For our light affliction (THLIPSIS: a pressing together. almost the same word as the greek word for troubled at the beginning of verse 8),
which is but for a moment,
worketh (accomplishes, renders on fit for a thing, achieves, performs)
for us a far more exceeding and eternal
weight (burden, heaviness, a stepping. reminds me of the journey of heaviness that is going on in the obove verses but this is the eternal reward “a perpetual journey where our own burden is His GLORY”. )
to me the whole imagery of the verse is now a well trod path. beat down. pressed down. full of brambles. things that may leave some scars (i love this line from an amy carmichael poem “can she have followed far -- who has no wound? no scar?”. not a path we would have chosen. perhaps because we are running after someone else. running to Someone else. but not walked alone. and not without an ending. not without a purpose. a path leading us to another path. a more spacious place where our only burden is one of Glory...