Perplexed, But Not in Despair -- By: William M. Anderson
BSac 106:421 (Jan 49) p. 96
Perplexed, But Not in Despair
[Editor’s Note: The following sermon was delivered by the brilliant pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Dallas, June 22, 1930. Dr. Anderson served the Dallas Theological Seminary as its vice president until he died.]
I should like to read for your hearing and then call your attention to a few things in it, having due respect for the temperature this morning, from the second Epistle to the Corinthians, the fourth chapter. The chapter has only eighteen verses in it and I wish to read them all. I should like for you to listen with as much attention as you can to this very interesting chapter that Paul, by the Holy Spirit’s direction, has written to this little group of believers in Corinth. Most of you will know that there are two Epistles to the Corinthians, the second one written because there were certain problems and misunderstandings, some difficulty with regard to accepting the authority of the apostle and some other matters, and the second Epistle was necessary to straighten these things out. Here is the fourth chapter of 2 Corinthians ….
Out of this very interesting chapter I have taken for our text one short phrase, to my mind the most interesting phrase out of the little group in which it is found. The eighth verse contains it: “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair.” And the text is the last of that verse : “We are perplexed, but not in despair.”
It stirs the imagination to think for a moment of the one who is writing this word, in the first place, whose life has been perhaps the most remarkably interesting of any life that has ever been lived upon earth among men—a young Jew
BSac 106:421 (Jan 49) p. 97
of every possibility of development and attainment in his own nation, with all the opportunity before him of becoming the outstanding man of his race, who had an experience upon the highway out of Damascus and threw out of his hands all the opportunity that one might have said God had put in them, and turned his back upon all the life that lay before him normally and went off after a strange Teacher of new truth. No more interesting life has been lived upon earth, I dare say, than the life of Saul, whom we have learned to know as Paul, for after that experience on Damascus’ road he comes to be the leader of the handful of persecuted believers for a few years and the mouthpiece of God’s oracle to them and the interpreting apostle of Christ to all Christians and the one, chosen representative of God’s revelation to all eternity—this Paul.
I do not know where your imagination can be more quickly caught up or stirred among a consideration o...
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