Paul, in II Corinthians chapter one, makes it clear that we will have problems and difficult circumstances – “we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us” (v. 8) – Paul lets us know we are going to have perplexing issues and burdens come into our life.
Our problems can seem overwhelming – “we were pressed out of measure, above strength” (v. 8) – Paul is telling the Corinthians and us that these problems were great in their emotional toil, and strain on him. He was “pressed” by these problems, he was “pressed” by this circumstance, “out of measure,” and “above strength.”
“We despaired even of life” (v. 8) – Paul was, we might say, very, “stressed out.” He was at his wits end. Paul was weighed down with a trial that was burdensome for him to bear. We do not know what the specific “trouble” was (I think that’s intentional so we can apply these verses to our own circumstances), but this trial for Paul was great enough to make him write, “that we despaired even of life.” Whether it was potential danger from his many enemies, an illness, or special satanic attack, we don’t know; but we do know that God controlled the circumstances and protected His servant.
Don’t Trust in Yourself
Trust God in the trial – “we should not trust in ourselves, but in God” (v. 9) – We need to put our trust in God, not ourselves. But why should we trust God? – Because we know He is a miracle-working God, “God which raiseth the dead” (v. 9). Even if our trial, God forbid, ends in our death – we serve the God that, “raiseth the dead!” – We do not even have to fear death itself. Trust the God that, “raiseth the dead.” He can help when it seems help is not possible. He can solve the problems that look unsolvable. He can strengthen you when you are weak. He will provide, He will work, He will rescue, all in His timing – we just need to trust and obey.
Our God “doth deliver” (v. 10) – Paul testified of this fact in verse ten when he said that God, “delivered us from so great a death.” God delivered Paul from this trial, and He will deliver us too. Notice the wording, “doth deliver” that is present-tense delivering. That pertains to us as much as it did to Paul – our God, “doth deliver!”
Do not lose your faith, remember, “whom we trust that he will yet deliver us” (v. 10). We need to trust God with the problem. Paul reminded us not to trust ourselves in the trial, now we are being specifically exhorted to trust God in the trial to, “deliver us” from it. Paul tells us, in the midst of a trial that makes us despair, “even of life” (v. 8), to trust God for, “he will yet deliver us” (v. 10). Don’t lose hope, don’t lose faith, and keep in mind, we serve the God that, present tense, “doth deliver” and “will yet deliver us!”