Life hurts sometimes. We all face times of loss, disappointment, hardship, discouragement, and doubt.
Read how Paul describes his situation in the letter to the Corinthian church in the first century:
For 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. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. —2 Corinthians 1:8-9
Can you relate to any of these thoughts or feelings? Burdened beyond your strength? Despair? Affliction?
The word for burdened in the original language of Scripture means heaviness, weight, burden, trouble. If you continue reading, Paul gives us the proper perspective to adopt in the midst of our hardships:
But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. —2 Corinthians 1:9-10
We have hope! As painful and uncomfortable as these situations may be, they serve to teach us to rely on God. We read that God delivered, will deliver, and will deliver us again. That’s good news!
My idea of deliverance from something painful or difficult is very different from what is promised in this verse. The word for deliver in the original language means to draw to one’s self, to rescue. I often want the deliverance to be out of or the end to a difficult circumstance!
But God delivers by drawing me to Himself. He is my place of refuge, security, hope, peace and joy in the midst! Because…He IS hope. He IS peace. He IS joy. He IS steadfast and immovable. He IS the source of my hope, joy, contentment, and peace in life. None of these are dependent upon my circumstances, but in knowing and trusting in the character of God. He IS faithful and trustworthy!
God is our refuge and comfort in times of difficulty and despair. As we walk in love, we extend this same comfort and encouragement to others. We are not called to bear life’s difficulties alone.…continue reading