“We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” 2 Corinthians 1:8b-9
Why did Paul think it was so important that his churches needed to stop relying on themselves and start relying only upon God? Why is it for us? Ponder these questions for a moment.
We may not have ever endured the kind of pressure that Paul referred to in the above verses. His life was literally threatened. However, when circumstances are overwhelming and we do not feel like we have enough strength, or that we “are enough” to handle all that is coming at us, deep feelings of despair can surface.
None of us like to be “needy”. It makes us feel weak and dependent. Strength, independence, and self-reliance are celebrated in today’s Western culture. This Scripture tells us that as Christ followers, we should rely on God and not “self”.
My need for God has led to my experiencing him on a new level. If I never needed strength, how would I have known he could strengthen me through difficult circumstances? If I had all the wisdom I needed within myself, how could I ever understand the depth of God’s wisdom and his willingness to give wisdom to those who ask him?
Our need for God helps us know him intimately — not just about him — in the depths of our hearts where his sufficiency meets our needs.
Go ahead. Express your need for God. May you learn more and more to not rely on yourself but on our Lord, who is the only One who can raise the dead and bring life.
Father, please help me to renounce self-reliance and to express my deepest needs to you. Thank you that you promise to provide my needs regardless of circumstances. Help me learn, like Paul, to rely only on you rather than on myself. Amen.
By Donna Mitchell
Used by Permission
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