The Affliction of Paul

People’s problems may be different, but God’s response is the same: His strength is enough

2 Corinthians 1:8-11

It’s easy to assume that problems in biblical days were nothing like ours. So, what can a first-century missionary possibly teach us about the adversity we face in the year 2022?

Though Paul’s culture was quite different from ours, some things were the same—like temptation, hardship, and sin. Satan was a threat then as he is today. Therefore, when the apostle wrote of being burdened beyond his strength, he had experience to back up his words.

Though Paul may have “despaired even of life” (2 Cor. 1:8), he believed God would sustain him during difficult seasons. As Jesus taught, divine strength can overcome worldly tribulations (John 16:33). That isn’t to say believers can avoid all sorrow and pain, but we know the Lord will meet our needs in every heartache and trial (Philippians 4:19). Our faith grows stronger when we trust Him in times of affliction. 

God’s strength is available to all believers who confess their weakness and inadequacy. Sometimes a troubled soul has only enough stamina left to admit, “Father, I absolutely cannot. If You don’t, it is simply not going to happen.” And that’s okay because in this mindset, we surrender ourselves to God. And as we wait, we’re in a good position to watch Him keep His promise. 

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