Sunday, November 15, 2015
On Whom Are You Relying?
2Cor. 1:8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. 9 Indeed, in our hearts we felt 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. 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.
Paul went through numerous times of difficulty in his ministry. Often these were physical threats to his own life because of his passion to faithfully serve the Lord in all circumstances. While he had experienced miracles throughout his ministry, he still had times when he was overwhelmed. However, it was in those moments of despair that he learned to place all of his trust in God. He needed to live in a state of complete and total reliance upon God. In hindsight Paul was able to confirm that he had learned to rely upon God and that the prayers of the community had been of great help. In the midst of it all God was glorified.
When we begin to follow Christ we discover that it can become quite a journey. Along the way we will either desire to know him more, or we will slow down when we hit our comfort zone. There comes a point where becoming stretched by God can be a bit painful and some people choose to not go that far in their relationship. The sad part is that when we stop moving forward with the Lord we miss out on getting to know him and his power.
But when we do continue to press on in our relationship with the Lord we will come to defining moments where there will be distractions. Our own talents and abilities can become a distraction to trusting in God. Loved ones can be a distraction to trusting in the Lord. Other believers can be a stumbling block to our faith. It is when we are tempted to give up that we are actually on the edge of going much deeper. Paul knew this and it was in that place of despair, when he had no hope, that God provided. The result was that God was glorified in and through his life.
God wants to be glorified in and through our lives. If we are relying upon what we can accomplish in our own right, God will not be glorified. Relying on him through the difficult days and hours leads us to a personal place of peace and to our God being glorified.
Lord, thank you for the lessons you teach us. May I trust in you today in all things. Amen.
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