My grandpa loved to tell the story of letting my dad drive a tractor when he was a young child. My dad sat on his dad’s lap with his small hands on the steering wheel as they drove over smooth ground. But when they hit a rough patch of bumpy road and the steering wheel bounced erratically, he would throw his hands in the air and yell, “Take it, Dad!”
In a similar way, our suffering causes us to cry out to our Heavenly Father for help. When life is smooth, we are often lulled into thinking we can handle things on our own. Then the rocky patches come and we have no choice but to throw up our hands and plead with Him to pull us through.
This month we’re walking through 2 Corinthians 1 and seeing how God cares for us and teaches us in affliction. We’ve seen God’s comfort and the hope He gives. This week we see in verses 8-9 that our affliction teaches us to rely on God:
“For we do not want you to be unaware, 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.” (2 Corinthians 1:8-9)
In these verses, Paul told the Corinthians about his severe suffering—trials so severe that Paul and his companions hoped death would come quickly. But Paul saw God’s purpose in the pain.
Like Paul, when our suffering pushes us to deeper reliance on the Lord, we find He is there, gripping the wheel, guiding us through the hard times. Our greater reliance on Him is a gift He gives us by His grace.
And our reliance on Him is not in vain. When Paul felt he’d received a death sentence, he needed nothing less than One who raises the dead to life. God has proved Himself to be worthy of our reliance, our hope, and our trust. He is sufficient to see us through every affliction.
No matter what you face this week, God will use your suffering to grow your reliance on Him.Share