“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;”
King James Version (KJV)
4:8 We are troubled, &c. - The four articles in this verse respect inward, the four in the next outward, afflictions. In each clause the former part shows the earthen vessels; the latter, the excellence of the power. Not crushed - Not swallowed up in care and anxiety. Perplexed - What course to take, but never despairing of his power and love to carry us through.
2Co 4:8,9 In these two verses are four pairs of contrasts which should the frailty of the instruments and the greatness of the power: (1) Troubled on every side, yet not distressed. "pressed on every side" (Revised Version), but not hemmed in by the pressure. (2) Perplexed, but not in despair. In apparently overwhelming difficulties, but never reduced to despair. (3) Persecuted, but not forsaken. Persecuted by their enemies, but not forsaken and delivered over to them. (4) Cast down, but not destroyed. Overthrown and cast to the earth, but even then rescued from the enemy, standing over them prostrate, so that they are not destroyed.