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2 Corinthians 1:8-10 ESV, “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.”
Paul openly spoke of being burdened beyond his own strength. Sometimes fear and other aspects of life can feel compacting and constricting in this way. Paul and his companions felt as though they had received a “sentence of death.” Pretty dramatic stuff. These strong men were in a situation in Asia Minor that was so far beyond their ability, facing death, that they were made to rely on God alone, the One Who raises the dead. God will deliver us, and we can have hope that even after we have been delivered that He will do it again.
2 Corinthians 7:5 and 6 ESV, “For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn—fighting without and fear within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus.”
We don’t get comfortable with fear and want no fellowship with darkness. Fear that is allowed to fester over a prolonged period of time can just morph into various forms of anxiety, leading us in the wrong direction. We want to get ourselves on the road out of seclusion, lack of activity and sadness. Joyce Meyer recently stated, “It doesn’t matter if you had a rough start in life. People won’t remember how you started in life, they will remember how you finish.” Let’s live strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. For some of us, let’s start today. Look at the verse we just read and note what was part of God’s solution. It was the coming of Titus. You can be Titus for someone. These ministers of God were afflicted at every turn in Macedonia. No one wants to be wrapped up in fightings and fears, and when Titus came through the door it was like a breath of fresh air for these powerful ministers who happened to be downcast at the moment. Take the time to prayerfully consider those you love, those in your families and in your network. Bring comfort and spend time loving those you can reach. So many times, if we want to minister to others we can start with those in our families and in our homes. Have a great week extending yourselves to bring comfort to the family of God.