"For we do not want you to be ignorant, 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."
2 Corinthians 1:8-10
IT'S HUMAN NATURE to want "all our eggs in one basket," and "all our ducks
on a row." We are in control. We want it all to be in order. We are serious;
our plan is in mind. Our purposes are set forth. And those around us had
better "get in step" with this business of life.
IT'S A FACT OF LIFE that something often comes along to upset our "house of
cards." The "apple-cart" is turned over. The eggs break. The ducks scatter.
We're left knocked down, helpless, dismayed, with no control. Maybe it's a
death. Or divorce. Or sin. It could be financial ruin, or job upheaval. A
major illness. A birth defect. A huge, life-changing thing. Kidnapping.
Rape. What then?? Paul in this passage was burdened beyond measure, above
strength, so that he despaired even of life. He felt the sentence of death.
Why?? Why would this happen to such a dynamic and sincere servant of God??
IT'S ABOUT CAUSE AND EFFECT. Whatever the cause might be, God wants the
effect to be one thing:
THAT WE SHOULD NOT TRUST IN OURSELVES BUT IN GOD.
(The very Son of God suffered while on this earth, and used it to learn even
greater trust and obedience in His heavenly Father, Hebrews 13:10-18; 5:8.
Why shouldn't we?) This passage further points out:
1) He raises from the dead. Whatever we suffer here won't mar that, if our
trust remains intact. Our eternity is secure in Him. There is life beyond
this, Revelation 2:10.
2) He delivers. There may be a deliverance now, on this earth, as well. Paul
was delivered from that distress. Some illnesses are cured. Life-changes can
have positive results. God is able to work things together for good, Romans
8:28. May we see the good!
Proverbs 3:5 is a good motto. I have it on a poster in my laundry room.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not upon your own
understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your
TODAY...no matter what the cause, let's aim for God's effect -- greater
trust. Proverbs reminds us that trusting God brings happiness, deliverance,
security and a shield (16:20; 28:25, 26; 29:25; 30:5). We are ultimately
safe in the arms of Jesus, no matter where the storms of life may blow,
TODAY'S DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT, God's Effect