For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead. (1 Corinthians 1:8,9 NKJV).
We all know that Paul was a man of faith, a man who was not easily deterred. But things had gotten so bad that even he despaired even of his life.
None of us want to go through severe trials. None of us want to experience such pain and hardship that we hit the point of despairing of our lives. None of us welcome difficulty. Unfortunately, in spite of the fact that none of us want those things, despair, pain, and hardship are unavoidable parts of life. The good news is, there is a plus side to experiencing hardship.
Notice that things got so bad for Paul that he had to turn his attention from self to God. The issues and problems at hand were beyond him. In that state, he could only do one thing: trust in the God who raises from the dead. Paul's trials were too much for him, humanly speaking, but he knew they were no match for the God who has power and authority even over death.
Trials in our life likely have many purposes. But perhaps one of the main purposes of trials is to show us that we can't possibly handle things on our own; we need God's help. Apart from trials, we may be tempted to fall into an attitude of self-sufficiency when in reality we need to always be leaning on God and His strength.
Father, we acknowledge that we cannot handle things on our own; we need Your help, Your strength, and Your wisdom for every situation in our lives. Help us to always call on you in times of adversity. Help us to be quick to ask for Your help and strength. We thank You that You have the power even over death and are more than capable of handling each and every situation we could ever possibly encounter. We commit every aspect of our lives to You. Amen.
Thought: Are there difficulties in your life you are attempting to handle on your own? Acknowledge your inability to do it on your own, and ask God for His help. Grapple with this issue in your journal. (Note: if you don't like to journal, spend some time in prayer on this topic.)
Copyright by Rebecca Livermore, a Christian speaker and writer from Denver, Colorado. Her passion is helping people grow spiritually. To read more of her articles, visit http://www.rebeccalivermore.com , www.helpforchristianwriters.blogspot.com or www.relevantdevotions.blogspot.com .