by Doy Moyer
There’s a principle Paul expresses in II Corinthians 1:8-11 that we need to learn well. We may feel overwhelmed by what is going on. We may feel in despair about many things. We may see that things are happening that are “beyond our strength.” What, then, is the lesson to learn? Here is what Paul learned when he felt the pressing “sentence of death”: “so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead.”
So that we would not trust in ourselves but in God…
That principle should be applied to whatever we feel is overwhelming. Is it culture? Is it politics? Is it personal threats? Is it financial? What is it? What is stressing us out so much? What are we feeling that is beyond our strength? We feel the desperation “so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God.”
Paul’s was very personal. He was persecuted and under constant threat (see II Corinthians 11). But the lesson is the same. If we are to trust in the Lord with all our heart, if we are not to lean on our own understanding, if we are to acknowledge God in all our ways (Proverbs 3:5-6), then, however, whatever, and wherever we are feeling the pressing sting of life, we are to trust God. There is no arena of life in which we are exempt from trusting Him.
- “Yeah, but aren’t we supposed to do our part?” No one is saying we shouldn’t do what we are taught to do.
- “Yeah, but we still have to care about things.” Of course, we care but if we stew in worry, we cross over into what God told us not to do (Philippians 4:6-7; Matthew 6:25-34).
No “yeah, buts…” are justified because none of the “buts” change what we are called on to do in trusting God. The overwhelming nature of this world can get to us. If we learn the lesson from Paul, we can see that things do indeed lie beyond our strength so that we will learn to trust in God who raises the dead.