“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. 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. 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, 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," [2 Corinthians 1:8-11]
Ever been in a tight squeeze? Are you in one now? Ever feel like there is simply no way out? Sometimes we find ourselves there -and sometimes we put ourselves there. When we become too self-reliant, that’s about when we need a wake-up call. We are still fighting the struggle that began in the Garden of Eden: Is God really God, or am I god?
Paul was in a tight squeeze more than once. But in the situation he refers to in 2 Corinthians 1:8-9, he really thought he was going to die. He didn’t even want to live anymore because his ability to endure had run out. But what he says next is remarkable: “But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.”
Unfortunately, it is the nature of the flesh to wait until all options but God have run out. This way we can give ourselves a (false) sense of security that we really can control what happens in this life (when we really can’t). We become self-assured and arrogant. We think we can handle anything, and then tragedy strikes and we are reminded of how little we can truly control. Why would God allow us to go through this exercise again and again? -so that we would set ALL of our hope on Him. We get upset when our food doesn’t come on time. I recently read a news article that contrasted how a family grew upset with the service they received from a local restaurant with a family that was drawing its last breath in Africa in search of food. When we finally realize (again and again) how deadly this world can be, that our enemy really is real and can’t wait to eliminate us or when we come to grips with the severity of the effects of sin, we come face-to-face with God (which is where we should stay in the first place).
We either come into God’s Presence because we long for Him and can’t get enough of being with Him, or we are driven to Him because of life’s circumstances. Either way, we meet reality and truth when we face God. But there is a way that we can truly seek to change the circumstances we face in this world: Prayer. By praying for our situation to change, for a change to take effect in us, for one another, for people in authority, for nations, peoples and the people next door, we truly can change the world. Gracious favor is granted us through the prayers of the saints.
If you are not content with where life is carrying you or where this world is headed, then please pray. Come into God’s presence and acknowledge that He alone is God and He alone can change things for good. Set all of your hope on Him and don’t dare to trust yourself. Pray, and the world will truly change. Ask your heart’s desire of God –He blesses a humble heart. And always make sure that you take a little time to listen –He might want to ask something of you too. Come face-to-face with God, it’s better to go because you want to and have already figured out who is God.
Love in Jesus,