For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
- 2 Corinthians 1:8-9
Here, we get a good glimpse of the life of some missionaries.
Paul states some realities we are unfamiliar with in today's western world. Paul explains that he, and the others who were with him, were pressed out-of-measure, above strength. It was so intense they lived on the edge of life.
Many Christians over time have been at their wit's end, unsure of how tomorrow's lot will ensue, or the day after. Might you feel like that now?
It seems from reading the scripture above, the main thing that got Paul and his friends through their ordeals was that they had resolved to die if it were necessary. This point is where we generally stop agreeing with the scripture. Nobody wants to die, yet Paul and his co-workers in Christ had resolved that final problem that snags us all — the fear of death.
They had passed sentence in themselves, and their trust was entirely in God, whatever may come. This type of living was at the level of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednigo - who said it didn't matter whether they lived or died in the furnace; they were God's property. (Daniel 3:16-18).
How is your trust in the Lord?
We don't know how we would react if put in similar situations to Paul and friends. However, like Paul, we can rely on God more each day and less on ourselves, thus reaching the profound experiences of a real life IN Christ.
Today's Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the extent that Paul and his friends went to in writing down their experiences, as it helps me understand the real spiritual life. Help me today to remove my fear of death, knowing that if I have done what you have say, I am yours, and death becomes irrelevant.