In 2 Corinthians 1:8, Paul said, “…we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.”
Have you ever felt like Paul? Has a particular circumstance or state of affairs caused you a great deal of grief or concern – even to the point that you grew weary of life itself? If so, please understand that you are not alone and not without hope.
In verse 9, Paul explains that the affliction he and his comrades had experienced was to make them “…rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” That’s not to say that God caused their woes, but that He used the opportunity to remind them that their strength comes from Him.
The problem is that we want to be in control of our lives. Many times, we want to win our own battles, jump our own hurdles, and climb our own mountains, but in the process, we often exhaust ourselves until we have very little fight left in us. If, instead, we rely on God’s strength and allow Him to fight for us, then we can stand firm.
Listen to Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 4:8-10: “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.”
Our lives may seem miserable at times, but remember that every time we face suffering – especially for the sake of the gospel – we will be victorious and Jesus will be glorified through us. Let’s allow God to be our strength today and always.