Constantly Being Delivered Over to Death
Constantly Being Delivered Over To Death
When was the last time you had to face the impossible? There was absolutely no way you could ever get through that situation. And yet, you are here today — not even wanting to think about having to face such a fearsome impossibility ever again.
What were you like in that situation? You did get through it somehow or another, but, what were you like? What did you learn?
The apostle Paul learned a lot as he faced all sorts of impossible predicaments. He was whipped, beaten, stoned, on the run from those trying to kill him, in shipwrecks — and somehow he made it through. Paul could not help but realize that he was holding onto life by a mere weak thread. With so many harrowing experiences, Paul had to explain what he learned from it all. He wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:11,
For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
Paul lived through those death defying experiences — “for Jesus’ sake” —- and God’s whole purpose behind that was — “that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”
God was protecting Paul’s life through all those horrendous experiences. Paul was totally vulnerable and inadequate to live through all that by his own power, knowledge, expertise, and wisdom. Just as we are also totally vulnerable and totally inadequate in facing life’s challenges.
It is always “for Jesus’ sake” that God helps us through all the impossibilities that confront and challenge us. In each situation, does the world see us putting our hope and trust in Jesus? In Paul’s predicaments, the people did see Paul trusting in God to lead him in standing strong in the truth, in faith, hope and love. Paul was not out there wringing his hands and crying out, “Oh woe is me! God does not love me any more! Everything’s going to pot.”
Instead the people saw Paul humbly accepting whatever God’s will might be for that situation. Paul trusted that the Lord would work all things together for good in the end — whether it meant his death or his living on to preach some more. Whatever was to happen, Paul knew that God’s way was best — and that God was in loving control of everything. The awfulness of the situation did not indicate that God was not in control, but it was a test of faith.
Paul’s kind of faith was a witness to “the life of Jesus”. All sorts of unbelievers saw Paul trusting in God, even in near death experiences. Paul’s trust in the Lord’s ways for his life (whatever that might be) made the people around him think about the kind of faith they were seeing. Unbelievers came to realize that the LORD God is different from all the idols and religions, and philosophies they were accustomed to.
Paul’s witness is still helping and strengthening people in the true faith today. For the help and strength we need in growing in the true faith, let us daily open up our Bibles and learn more about what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. Only then can “the life of Jesus” “be manifested in our mortal flesh.”
Growing stronger each day in the truths of God’s love and forgiveness, we say, “Hallelujah! Lord, it is totally marvelous how You are in control of all things. Lead us in the way everlasting, that our lives may witness to the true life in Christ Jesus.”
A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and GOD of gods.
Pray for our country.
The LORD made this day, let us rejoice and be glad in Him.
The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
Sing for joy in the LORD, O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming to the upright.
How blessed are those who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.