PASTORS' DAILY DEVOTIONAL
Redeemer's ReliefJustin Smith
2 Corinthians 1:8-11 We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.
Why is it that we often only turn to God when we have reached our wit’s end? After we have done all we can in our power, making every attempt to muster up an answer that will remedy, rectify, and reconcile the situation, it is only then that we turn to God. Is it because we don’t want to “bother” him with our trivial issues? Or is it because we are proud enough to think that “our way” and “our fix” are superior to God’s? Maybe we don’t even think about going to God because we’re so used to having to do things on our own because, “...if you want something done right you have to do it yourself”…right? Paul found himself in a situation that was far greater than he could handle. He had displayed a steadfast faith and a stalwart obedience throughout tough times in the past, but even for him, this occasion seemed challenging. He, and his companions, expected nothing less than death, and it was in this helplessness that he confesses his moment of surrender to God. Paul eventually made the conscious choice to submit and safety and security were granted by the hand of the Mighty Deliverer.
Every now and then, it’s nice to hear about Biblical “superheroes”, like Paul, struggling just like me. Even he had to be reminded that reliance on oneself is a recipe for disaster, while reliance of the Redeemer is a recipe for…Redemption and rescue. In fact, he confesses that he had to “learn” to rely only on God, who raises the dead. This, too, is a lesson that I must learn. The voices of the world that tout the power of a “self-made man”, the pride that seeks its own desires, and the fear of God’s plans must be repudiated and replaced with trusting in His steadfast love. It’s time I stop looking for the fix in my own two hands, my limited logic, and my best attempts and start lifting my eyes to the Redeemer’s Relief.
Lord, please forgive me for my ignorance, as I have placed hope in myself. I desire to learn to only rely on you, who raises the dead, so as I grow to know you more, please empower my faith to trust and believe. Thank you for your love, your forgiveness, and the hope that you abundantly give.