We Expected to Die (365 Days of Daring Faith — DAY 324)
2 Corinthians 1:8-9 (NLT)
We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.
In our fast-paced world and often harried lives, it is so easy to focus only on the mountains we’re facing or allow ourselves to be blinded by our problems to the point where we feel like we can’t go on or even function in day to day tasks. The real obstacle that is standing in our way most of the time is that we try to do too much in our own strength.
For the believer, life is a test. And a big part of that test is being willing to yield our wills and surrender our lives to the God who is Almighty and all-powerful. The common thread that runs throughout the bible in almost all of the characters’ lives is to stop trying to make things happen on our own and to trust God’s promises. Why does God want us to trust? Because he can do more for us in one day than we can do in an entire lifetime. It’s that simple.
Some of us have goals that we’re working towards but at every twist and turn, there is one more obstacle, one more challenge, one more problem to work through. We’re working and hurrying and hustling for hours on end every day and for months on end for years and years and never seeing our dreams come to pass simply because we’re all over it and we give God no room to do anything on our behalf.
Giving everything over to God doesn’t mean you don’t do any work. But when you do work, you rely on God’s strength to get through and to achieve and to accomplish. It isn’t about you in the least bit; it is all about what God can do for you and through you. God can do a whole lot more in a whole lot less time and with no stress or pressure than you or I can ever do it. The only benefit of being crushed, broken, overwhelmed, overloaded, stressed, and worried is that you eventually come to the end of your rope and are forced to trust God.
The Apostle Paul tells us about his experiences in Asia in 2 Corinthians 1:8-9. He was doing God’s will and ministering and serving the people there, but he was ready to give up because he was ‘crushed and overwhelmed beyond their ability to endure, and they thought they would never live through it’ so much so that they ‘expected to die.’ You get the feeling of Paul here. Sounds like some of our own experiences when we just feel like you can’t go on.
But because the experienced these difficulties, instead of giving up, it forced them to stop depending on themselves and to start relying on God. Scripture tells us that we can have all our needs met, reach all our dreams and goals, and experience an abundant life not through busyness, not through relying on our own strength, but by choosing to trust God in everything. Don’t waste your life thinking and acting as if everything depends on you. It doesn’t. It does, however, depend on your trust in God.
“Waiting for Me to work, with your eyes on Me, is evidence that you really do trust Me.”
— Sarah Young