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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Comfort: Dependence For Deliverance

Have you been treated unfairly by someone who really did not know or understand your circumstance? The Corinthian church gave up on Paul. Not only did they write him off, but they discredited his ministry. He said he would come and he didn't, so they called him a false teacher. Who does Paul think he is, anyway?

What they did not know is that Paul was delayed in coming, and not merely delayed but nearly died.  Look at what he writes: “Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver [us], you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift [granted] to us through many.” [2Co 1:9-11 NKJV]

Paul shows a great amount of grace in the face of misunderstanding, even calling his critics alongside to pray for him! How could he do this?

First, Paul depended upon the God of life (1:9). While in the face of death, his hope rested in the God of life. One who can raise the dead is the only hope of a man who is doomed to die. If you ever feel like your troubles are overwhelming, remember God’s great power. He can be depended upon.

Second, Paul was delivered by the God of life (1:10–11). Notice what he says about deliverance. He speaks of God’s deliverance in the past (“who delivered us from so great a death”) of God’s present deliverance (“and does deliver us”)  and of the deliverance to come (“He will still deliver us”).

The comfort for us: the same God who delivered you from the penalty of sin in the past is able to deliver you day by day, and will continue to deliver you until that final moment when we will be completely released from everything this world has to offer.

These are reasons why we study the Bible, because when trouble comes, we have a bulwark against the waves of doubt that rage against our fragile houses of faith.

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