Read 2 Corinthians 1:8-11.
“We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself … but … delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again.”
This passage moved C.K. Barrett to comment:
“… because this epistle moves on this boundary line between life and death … it contains … much persistent questioning of all human security, and is so uncomfortable a document. … Physical illness, the shadow of death, the failure of his work in Corinth, were among the causes that led to the breaking down of a man who, if any had ground for confidence in the flesh, had more. The church at Corinth, like many another since, thought it could by-pass affliction on the way to comfort; the theme of the epistle is that it is impossible. Christian discipline means, for the apostle and for the church as a whole, a progressive weakening of man’s self-confidence, and of the self-despair to which this leads, and the growth of radical confidence in God. Confidence in God grows through experience of his power to deliver. … Intercession [through the prayers of others] helps to set in motion the divine act, and this in turn leads to thanksgiving.”
God of all comfort, Father of all compassion, give me eyes to see the challenges and burdens in life I shoulder as a Christian not as arguments against your love, but as signs of your great care for my soul. You are ever greater than all that faces me and your great task is ever to shape me my spirit more into your Son’s likeness. You know the means best by which to do this so may I trust you and rest, with or without my burdens, in your strong, supportive arms and not try to insulate myself from life’s most difficult realities. Do hear my prayer, and the prayers of others for me, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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