© Denise Pass 6/2/14
2 Corinthians 1:8-11
8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.”
Squeezed like a lemon in life’s juicer of trials, one can often not find the comfort one hopes to receive, though well intended, from well-meaning Christian friends. “God will not give you more than you can handle”. Hmmm. Paul had a different point-of-view on this. Pressed on every side, he confessed that his trials were, in fact, more than he could bear. Sometimes we can be hyper spiritual and think that we need to put on a facade of faith, while inwardly we are broken. But honestly confessing our anxiety and inability is where victory lies. The faith comes as we set our hope on the promises and truths God gives us. Paul admitted he was enduring more than he could handle, but in the same breath he proclaimed God’s faithfulness and exhibited genuine faith that God would deliver him. His hope was set on God’s ability and promises to deliver him, but he also knew he needed the prayers of the saints around him. If we are not in the valley at this present time, may we notice those around us who are, and not try to offer “Christianese” advice to the weary and wounded. May we instead lift them up and cry out to God on their behalf, that God will indeed deliver them in due time. If you are one who is bearing a burden so heavy that you cannot even contemplate it, there is hope for you in that place of desperation. God is with the brokenhearted and He counts your every tear.
Lord, please help us to know that even though we seem incapable of handling life’s demands or struggles, you are completely sufficient to bear our burdens and strengthen us.