November 17, 2015

2 Corinthians 1:8-11

Paul did not want his suffering to be unknown or left in the dark. He wanted to share what was going on with this church in Corinth. There is power in sharing our struggles with one another. We are able to encourage and equip, and the coolest part of all—God receives GREAT GLORY when he works and heals. When we keep things in the dark, we make the struggle harder on ourselves and we rob God of the glory he is due when he rescues us.

Paul says the pressure they faced was so heavy and so overwhelming they despaired even of life. They felt the sentence of death. Many in our world and in our community suffer from depression and mental illness, and unless you’ve personally struggled, it can be hard to understand. Paul was not diagnosed with mental illness, but these words lead me to believe he not only suffered physically but mentally and spiritually as well. We know Paul felt his circumstances were too big for him to handle and that ultimately he would die instead of triumph.

BUT, he goes on to say that God has the power to raise the dead. God has delivered before and he will deliver again.

We must be careful when talking to those suffering from mental illness. There is a danger in acting like people can just snap out of it with prayer or that God will just take care of it in an instant. Many times medication and professional help are necessary for breakthroughs and for healing. God is our creator, he is the ultimate healer, and we believe and trust in his power to bring about total restoration. God often uses doctors and medicine and counselors to bring about healing and we must always be sensitive to that fact. As one who struggles, I know the power of God is essential and necessary for my own healing—apart from him, it will not happen. But I remind myself that my struggle today does not mean he is not powerful and it does not mean I am not spiritual enough. It is a journey, and many of us will struggle every day of our lives. God’s saving is done one day at a time.