How many times do you feel grace and peace when you go through trials?
2 Corinthians 1 is a great chapter in the bible that gives us perspective and understanding into our suffering as Christians. The whole chapter is a letter of encouragement that speaks to my heart when I go through trials.
2 Corinthians 1:2 says that we have grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The chapter continues unfolding the character of God: "the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles"
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
Few verses later, we read an astonishing statement from Paul, a great man of faith: "We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. 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" (2 Corinthians 1:8-9).
But here comes the purpose of his trial and most likely, the purpose of SOME of our trials: "BUT THIS HAPPENED THAT WE MIGHT NOT RELY ON OURSELVES BUT ON GOD" (2 Corinthians 1:9).
Now "the heart is deceiving about all things" according to Jeremiah 17:9. Was the sentence of death that Paul felt in his heart truth? No, that was his perception while in the trial. But after the trial ended, Paul realized that God was in control all the time and that he needed to trust God (not his perception of his circumstances).
My heart is with all of you who go through trials and sufferings, for I myself experienced plenty of them. But with every trial I experience, there is less reliance on myself and a learning process in trusting God and putting my whole faith in Him. I am still learning to trust God and completely rely on Him.
But I know now (just as Paul and many of you know) that "God has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us" (2 Corinthians 1:10).
Love to all!