2 Corinth. 4: “I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again”

In 1997, my senior year in high school, an extremely popular, and rather peculiar song, came out entitled “Tubthumping,” by the band Chumbawamba. This is not a joke, and yes, this is a real song by a real band… it was the 90’s.

The chorus of the song goes like this…

I get knocked down
But I get up again
You’re never gonna keep me down
I get knocked down
But I get up again
You’re never gonna keep me down

This became the the warriors cry for anyone refusing to get knockdown by life! Think about the empowerment in the words, “you’re never gonna keep me down.”

In many ways, what we read in 2 Corinthians 4 is Paul’s clarion call to the Corinthians that he too got knocked down, but he got up again, and you’re never gonna keep him down! Although there is a ton of important scriptures here, it’s an obscure quote that caught my attention in the reading. [SIDE NOTE] IF you want to hear more on 2 Corinthians 4, I’m preaching tomorrow out of this chapter.

Right in the middle of Paul’s argument regarding persevering in ministry, he makes the connection between his faith and the faith exemplified by the Psalmist who wrote Psalm 116. 2 Corinthians 4:13-14 (NLT) 13 But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” 14 We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you.

A Deeper Look at Psalm 116

I encourage you to read all of Psalm 116, but here are the highlights for you to consider today:

  • The Psalmist understands that the Lord hears his prayers
  • The Psalmist is suffering from either an illness or a deep affliction
  • While facing death, the Psalmist cries out and the Lord saves him
  • Because the Lord saved the Psalmist, he vows to walk in his presence
  • The Psalmist declares himself a servant of the Lord
  • The Psalmist offers himself as a sacrifice of thanksgiving

 

Not only does it sound like Paul resonated with the Psalmist’s plight, but I want to see what more we can learn today by studying this Psalm. We obviously know a lot about Paul at this point, so lets see just why he would quote from this particular Psalm.
We’re not sure who wrote this Psalm. Whoever it was, they were definitely writing from a deep personal experience and not a communal experience. As far as the date of the Psalm, that’s a little vague as well. As far they can tell, it was written sometime after the Babylonian captivity (539 BC) but anytime around the period after Jerusalem became the place of public worship. No matter when, where, or who wrote this Psalm, one thing is true; no matter the suffering, God receives the glory. The author got knocked down, but got up again, you’re never gonna keep them down!

Get Up Again

I want to encourage you today, when you get knocked down, which you will, get up again! Trust me, I know it’s not easy, but head the words of both the Psalmist.

Psalm 116:1-6 (NLT)

 I love the Lord because he hears my voice
    and my prayer for mercy.
Because he bends down to listen,
    I will pray as long as I have breath!
Death wrapped its ropes around me;
    the terrors of the grave overtook me.
    I saw only trouble and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
    “Please, Lord, save me!”
How kind the Lord is! How good he is!
    So merciful, this God of ours!
The Lord protects those of childlike faith;
    I was facing death, and he saved me.