2 Corinthians 1:8-11 For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many. NKJV
Paul makes known to these Corinthian believers the tremendous strain and stress he and those with him were under or up against when a man named Demetrius became incensed with Paul and the other disciples as recorded for us by Dr. Luke with these words, “About that time there occurred no small disturbance concerning the Way. For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, was bringing no little business to the craftsmen; these he gathered together with the workmen of similar trades, and said, ‘Men, you know that our prosperity depends upon this business. You see and hear that not only in Ephesus, but in almost all of Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away a considerable number of people, saying that gods made with hands are no gods at all. Not only is there danger that this trade of ours fall into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis be regarded as worthless and that she whom all of Asia and the world worship will even be dethroned from her magnificence.’ When they heard this and were filled with rage, they began crying out, saying, ‘Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!’ The city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed with one accord into the theater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia. And when Paul wanted to go into the assembly, the disciples would not let him” (Acts 19:23-30).
Paul with the memory of this encounter fresh on his mind declared to these Corinthian believers how he and the other disciples “were pressed” or bareo meaning weighed down and burdened as if they were carrying an extremely heavy load. This heaviness or burden upon them was beyond measure or so exceedingly great that Paul declares that they all despaired of life or exaporeomai meaning they were utterly at a loss and despondent and destitute of resources to preserve their lives, for they had completely renounced all hope of surviving. Paul and Gaius and Aristarchus and the other disciples were under severe attack from satan as his worship had been threatened by Paul’s proclamation of the gospel of Christ as these people under satan’s control were worshipping what they thought was the great goddess Artemis, but really they were worshipping satan, just as those who practice magic, voodoo, wizardry, sorcery, and witchcraft think they are spiritual and spiritually connected to God are also servants of satan.
Paul felt that it was far beyond their ability to endure such great pressure, even though just earlier in Ephesus Dr. Luke records what was done there by the hands of the Apostle Paul, “God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out” (Acts 19:11-12). Paul felt so strongly within his inner man that they were going to be killed that day, but he completely trusted in the God who raises the dead and Paul knew that he would be delivered from this assault and attack from the devil upon him because he remembered the words of our Lord Jesus Christ spoken to him not long ago in Corinth when he faced similar sufferings as recorded for us by Dr. Luke, “And the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, ‘Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city’ (Acts 18:9-10).
Paul no doubt drew his strength from these words spoken to him by our Lord Jesus Christ that night when he had the same pit in his stomach and so he pens these words with absolute confidence, “Who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us” (2 Corinthians 1:10). Paul’s trust was not in his ability to speak persuasive words or his physical strength, but it was in Christ Jesus our Lord who controls all things by the power of His Hands according to the counsel of His Will. Paul acknowledges their prayers for him during these troubling times that surely the Father heard, as word must have gotten back to the Corinthian church and other churches of the disciples tribulation in Asia and immediately they all began interceding to the Father to deliver or rhuomai them meaning to completely rescue them from the physical threat they were under, and so the Father did just that granting them deliverance from the hands of the enemy.
“Either through persecution or through severe illness Paul had been brought to the gates of death, 2 Corinthians 1:8. His recovery was little less than a miracle, but throughout his trust never wavered. Dare to believe, like Paul, that God has delivered, doth deliver, and will deliver! Past, present, and coming deliverances blend in this sweet verse. What He hath done, He doth now, and will do. Only see to it that you have the sentence of death in yourself, and on yourself, and that you go out of yourself to God, in whom is all necessary help. In such hours we may also receive great help from the faith of our friends, 2 Corinthians 1:11.” F. B. Meyer
“Past experiences are great encouragements to faith and hope, and they lay great obligations to trust in God for time to come. We reproach our experiences if we distrust God in future straits, who hath delivered as in former troubles. David, even when a young man, and when he had but a small stock of experiences, argued after the manner of the apostle here, 1 Samuel 17:37.” Matthew Henry
“Paul here acknowledges that he himself was not immune to despair, despondency, or depression but despite this condition of his inner man on this occasion, Paul was always aware of where his relief came from and he never trusted in the cleverness of his speech to free him from such trouble, but knew that our Lord Jesus Christ was at all times and in every circumstance in complete control of his steps.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…