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. And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.
—2 Corinthians 1:8-11 (NLT)
Paul wrote to the church in Corinth and believers throughout Greece about the trouble in Asia, sharing faith in Jesus Christ. The letter, Paul declared was also from their brother, Timothy, and it expressed how they found themselves crushed beyond endurance. In fact, Paul wrote, they expected to die. But they learned something—to quit relying upon their own strength and trust God to supply His. Paul's next phrase captures how infallible that strength is. They discovered God’s power strong enough to raise the dead.
During the most horrible time of persecution, Paul learned that he had no strength—that God was His supply. Paul came to the end of his resources. When you come to the end of yours, you allow the Holy Spirit to teach you God’s truth. You learn to rely on God’s power. Responding to Paul’s faith, God rescued them from mortal danger. It is the same for us. In response to our faith, God saves us.
Paul stated that they had placed their confidence in God. He was determined not to lose the confident trust he had found. He continued in God's might to receive what God had promised—the mission field to which God had called him. Paul believed that God would continue to rescue them no matter what came against them. They walked by faith in Jesus and were not thrown off track by what they experienced.
You are also to walk by faith and not allow hard experiences to throw you. Just as God rescued Paul, God saves you and desires for you to rely on Him! If you believe in Him, you can speak to your mountain, and it will fall into the sea. You have the same power living in you that raised Jesus from the dead. You, just as Paul, will praise God, who graciously answers the prayers of many who have prayed.
“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus said, “whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12, NIV). Anyone who believes in Jesus can do what He did? And even greater works? The Pharisees believed Jesus prideful, when, in fact, they were the ones full of pride. What do some think of believers who believe and act on this Scripture now? That they are prideful?
Psalm 91, a psalm of divine protection, is quoted a lot right now. Look at these verses:
“If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won't even hurt your foot on a stone. You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet" (Psalm 91:9-13, NLT)!
No plaque or disease shall come near you. God sends his angels to guard you in every way. A lion, the most powerful beast of the forest, shall not be able to harm you. The serpent, your most cunning and deceitful enemy, shall have no power over God’s strength within you. When you dwell in the presence of the Most High, you believe in His Word that does not return to Him without accomplishing His purpose. Even the devils are subject to His Word. And you have been given His power to rebuke any plaque or disease.
The power of God that raised Jesus from death lives in you. Believe it. Place your confident trust in God, and He will continue to rescue you. Speak to your mountains. His power at work in you is the answer. Nothing is impossible with God.
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21, NLT).
© 2020 Lynn Lacher