Verses- 2 Cor 1:8-11
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. 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. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.
Wow, this one hit me hard guys. Listen to the hurt Paul presents to us “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.” I feel that so deeply in my core right now. Have you ever felt that you are burdened beyond your strength? Given more than you can handle? That it feels like you might literally die?
I’ve been through seasons that hurt so much that I thought I would die. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the phrase “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle” in the last few years. I’ve been battling a bunch of health issues, and almost daily I can resonate with Paul’s words- “utterly burdened” and “despaired in life”. Let me tell you, friend, I wish that everyone who told me that “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle” could read these verses. We live in a fallen, broken world. That world gave Paul more than he could handle, and definitely gives us more than we can handle in our own strength. Don’t miss the key word “our” in Paul’s message. He said they are “burdened beyond our strength”.
Thank God that is not the end of these verses. The story doesn’t end there for us. The key is in the next part. This broken world does give us more than we can handle, so that we can be made to rely on the Lord. Paul states “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.” Praise God and amen to that part. I don’t need to handle the burdens of life on my own because I can rely on the savior who raises the dead. While getting diagnosis after diagnosis, I know that the Lord has the power to deliver me. I am in the hardest season of life that I have even been in, on every single front. At the end of the day, Paul’s sentiment rings true, He is our hope and we can trust Him to deliver us. We are not alone. We do not have to do it alone. We do not have to be strong and shoulder burdens ourselves. We are meant to trust in our Savior in order to face the hardships in life, together.
The ending verse is just as important. The final statement is “You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.” There’s so many key factors there. Paul gives the church of Corinth a charge in how they can help him. Just as Paul asks for this help, it’s also important that we can rely on our tribe for prayer. He recognizes that there is a power behind prayer. We are meant to do this life by relying on the strength and hope of our Savior, while walking through life with our community.
Lord, thank you for the significance of these verses. Thank you that I do not need to rely on my strength alone to navigate this world. Please continue to remind me to rely on your power, and hope. Lord, please open my heart to get connected to the community around me. Show me ways to get involved with other believers and how to better ask for prayer. We love you Lord and thank you for CityLight and the community that you have brought us here. Amen
Author: Becca Artymenko