Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Christ our Deliverer

Jensen Varghese
Carmel MTC, MA
9 Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death so that we would rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.

Living on earth as human beings destines us for challenges and hardship. This was as true in the time of the apostle Paul as it is today. While cultural circumstances may have changed since Paul's letters to the Corinthians, our source of strength in difficult times is always constant: the Lord God Almighty. Here specifically, Paul refers to God as the "God of all comfort" who comforts us in our troubles. So we should not despair, because God is always present to console us.  But God doesn't do this exclusively for our own benefit. Rather, after learning from our own experiences, we are expected to reach out to our brothers and sisters in affliction and provide the same comfort that God afforded us in our time of need.

It would seem then that our own suffering may serve a purpose when God uses it to equip us as lights for others facing dark times. Yet there is another purpose for our suffering. Paul explains it when he describes his own troubles in the Province of Asia "We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead." 2 Corinthians 1:8-9.

By facing a situation so daunting and overpowering, Paul and his followers are forced to put their trust completely in God, for they realize their own inadequacy. This peril serves to strengthen Paul's faith, rather than erode it. Do we have the same reaction to adversity in our own lives? Or are we too quick to get angry and upset with God?

Paul also raises an interesting point in verse 9 - after the realization that he can rely only on God, he is quick to point out that God raises the dead! The very thing that Paul had feared most has already been defeated by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! We must remember this, even in the face of our greatest suffering and hold fast to the hope that Christ will always deliver us, no matter how hopeless our situation may seem - for our suffering is not pointless, but instead a means for God to bring us closer to our neighbor in need and also to draw us closer to Him.


Lord God, our Heavenly Father, we pray that you give us strength and patient endurance in our times of hardship. We pray that you allow us to comfort others just as you comfort us in our time of need. We ask that you use the challenges in our lives to strengthen our faith in you and deepen our love for you. In Jesus' precious name, Amen.

The next time we are faced with adversity, instead of asking "Why Me?" let's ask God to show us how we can serve Him through the situation.

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