2 CORINTHIANS 1:8-11 – FACING REALITY!
- How real was the persecution of Christians in the days of the apostle Paul?
- How real is the persecution of Christians in the world right now?
- Let’s review last week’s verses, Comfort in Uncomfortable Situations:
- Who God Is – 1 Corinthians 1:3
- What God Does – 1 Corinthians 1:4a, 5
- Why God Does It – 1 Corinthians 1:4b, 6-7
- Paul reinforces his words with the reality of his own suffering, and the comfort that God gives.
AFFLICTION IS REAL! – 2 Corinthians 1:8
- Although there has been much speculation as to what Paul’s affliction was, nobody knows for sure. Perhaps it was physical persecution or illness.
- This had him “burdened beyond measure”, like a beast of burden whose load is much too heavy.
- It is likely that this event is not recorded in the Scriptures.
- It was so severe Paul despaired for his life. Depression might also have been a factor.
TRUST IS REAL! – 2 Corinthians 1:9-10
- Perhaps Paul was relying on himself to some degree.
- God placed him where he had nothing to hope for in this situation.
- He had to trust God who raises the dead. Proverbs 3:5-6
- Not only does God literally raise the dead if we should die, but He also delivers from death-like situations when we come to the end of ourselves.
- When a situation is so bad that we’re dead to any hope of it being corrected, God can bring “beauty out of ashes.”
DELIVERANCE IS REAL! – 2 Corinthians 1:9-10
- God delivered Paul from this great trouble.
- God could and would deliver him again.
- Ultimate deliverance is in the resurrection. Job 19:25-27
INTERCESSORY PRAYER IS REAL! – 2 Corinthians 1:11
- God has granted us the privilege of “helping” in our prayers, so that when prayer is answered, many are praising God!
- Intercessory prayer is our responsibility as Christians. Ephesians 6:18, 1 Timothy 2:1-8, Hebrews 13:3
- Christians who are being persecuted especially need our prayers.