To Be Or Not To Be
2 Corinthians 1:3-11
We were burdened beyond measure, . . . so that we despaired even of life.(2 Cor 1:8)
When I was a child, kids on the playground jokingly quoted Shakespeare’s famous line: “To be or not to be—that is the question!” But we really didn’t understand what it meant. Later I learned that Shakespeare’s character Hamlet, who speaks these lines, is a melancholy prince who learns that his uncle has killed his father and married his mother. The horror of this realization is so disturbing that he contemplates suicide. The question for him was: “to be” (to go on living) or “not to be” (to take his own life).
At times, life’s pain can become so overwhelming that we are tempted to despair. The apostle Paul told the church at Corinth that his persecution in Asia was so intense he “despaired even of life” (2 Cor. 1:8). Yet by shifting his focus to his life-sustaining God, he became resilient instead of overwhelmed, and learned “that we should not trust in ourselves but in God” (v.9).
Trials can make life seem not worth living. Focusing on ourselves can lead to despair. But putting our trust in God gives us an entirely different perspective. As long as we live in this world, we can be certain that our all-sufficient God will sustain us. And as His followers, we will always have a divine purpose “to be.”
Lord, give us grace to trust You when life’s burdens seem too much to bear; dispel the darkness with new hope and help us rise above despair.Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
God's light dispels the darkness of despair.
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church