2 Corinthians 1:8, 9 - This Happened That We Might Not Rely On Ourselves But On God!!!

1Corinthians 1:8, 9; This Happened That We Might Not Rely On 
Ourselves But On God!!! 

2 Cor 1:8,9 (KJV)  For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant 
of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out 
of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of 
life: 9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should 
not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: 

2 Cor 1:8, 9 (NIV)  We do not want you to be uninformed, 
brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were 
under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we 
despaired even of life. 9 Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of 
death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on 
God, who raises the dead. 

2 Cor 1:8, 9 (NCV)  Brothers and sisters, we want you to know 
about the trouble we suffered in Asia. We had great burdens there that 
were beyond our own strength. We even gave up hope of living. 9 
Truly, in our own hearts we believed we would die. But this happened so 
we would not trust in ourselves but in God, who raises people from 
the dead. 

2 Cor 1:8, 9 (CWR)  My brothers, I want to let you know about 
some of the problems we've had in Asia Minor.  We've had to face such 
hardships that our strength gave way and we wondered whether we'd make it 
through alive. 9 We were so far gone, we felt certain we would die, but 
this only made us lean more on God who can raise the dead if he 
decides to. 


The focus is on God's purpose of comfort, not the trouble 
itself. [New Bible Companion] 

A key principle of this letter. God's grace is all-sufficient, 
and our weakness is precisely the opportunity for his power to be 
displayed (cf. 12:9-10). [NIV SB] 

God often brings his people into great straits, that they may 
apprehend their own insufficiency to help themselves, and may be induced 
to place their trust and hope in his all-sufficiency. Our extremity 
is God's opportunity. (Matthew Henry's Commentary) 

Paul's deliverance was 
(1) a wonderful PROVIDENCE--who delivered us; 
(2) a sure PROPHECY--and will deliver (ASV); 
(3) a bright PROMISE--on whom we have set our hope that he will 
also still deliver us (ASV). [Wycliffe Bible Commentary] 

Paul and his companions felt doomed to die, and realized that 
they could do nothing to help themselves--they simply had to trust in 
God..... God is our source of power, and we receive his help by keeping 
in touch with him. With this attitude, problems will drive us to 
God rather than away from him. Learn how to rely on God daily. [Life 
Application SB] 

Paul knew a great deal about trouble. Being a follower of Christ 
doesn't exempt a person from pressure, stress, and depression. Many 
believers believe Christians should never be depressed. But here Paul -- a 
champion of the early church -- was dealing with that very problem. In 
the case of the apostle Paul, pressure came with the territory of 
discipleship. He candidly wrote that the pressure was so great that at times, 
he despaired of life itself (1:8). Evidently, he wondered if he 
would even escape the vise-grip of opposition. No doubt you have marks 
to prove that you've been there too. When you spend time in quiet 
conversation with the Lord today, honestly admit the pressure and anxiety 
currently consuming you from the inside out. Ask him to undergird you as 
you chip away at situations you feel are beyond your ability. 
Celebrate the promise Paul gave to his friends at the church in Philippi. 
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil 4:13 
NKJV). (Life Application Commentary) 


    Many Christians are reluctant to acknowledge any connection 
between God and suffering. Some see Satan as the only cause for the hard 
times we all go through. Others blame every difficulty in this life on 
the fact that we are members of a fallen creation whose rebellion 
has inflicted suffering on the world. 
    I believe that these views are interrelated and that both 
are true. Satan does cause suffering. Scripture describes him as a 
thief, a liar, and a destroyer, and we are encouraged to learn to do 
battle with him, wearing the whole armor of God (see Eph. 6:1-18) 
    It is also true that tremendous suffering has resulted from 
humankind's choice to follow Satan into rebellion against God's way. The 
world is reaping the natural consequences of man's fallen condition - 
in the wars that rage among nations, in the breakdown of the 
family, in the appalling spread of sexually transmitted diseases. 
    But I believe it is important for us Christians to know that 
regardless of where suffering originates, God is now, has always been, and 
always will be in control of His universe. Satan has not "pulled any 
fast ones" on the King of kings and Lord of lords. Sinful mankind has 
not managed to foil heaven's best intentions while some powerless 
deity was catching a catnap! God is sovereign! He is God! Whatever 
happens in His universe has happened with God's knowledge and 
permission. And this includes suffering. by Claire Cloninger [Passages Of 
Life SB] 

    "Why?" we wonder as we struggle to put the pieces back in a 
broken relationship. 
    "Why?" we think as we read of a devastating earthquake 
halfway around the world. 
    "Why?" we cry as we stand at the grave of a loved one.
    Life is short and sometimes tragic, and each day we are 
reminded of our finiteness. We don't know the future, we don't know the 
relationship between events, and we certainly don't know why. 
    But we do know that God is good and all-knowing - nothing 
catches him by surprise, not the car out of control, the malignant 
tumor, the hurricane, or the disease. So even as we wonder and question 
the reason and cause for each event, we can be confident that God 
knows and that in everything, even the senseless tragedy, he is 
working. (by Dave Veerman) [Inspirational SB] 

    God uses suffering to teach trust. God allows great 
suffering. He allowed Paul, probably the greatest missionary of all time, 
to experience terrible suffering time and again.... Why does God 
allow His dear servant to go through such suffering, especially when 
he is such a great servant, a servant who labors so faithfully for 
God? There are two primary reasons. 
    1. Note that God is called the "God which raises the dead." 
The one thing that man must learn is that he cannot save himself; he 
cannot raise himself up from the dead. Only God can save man and raise 
him up and give him eternal life. Suffering teaches man that he is 
helpless to save himself. If he wishes to be saved, he must trust God. 
Therefore, suffering teaches man that he is not self-sufficient. He must 
have the presence and help of God if he wishes to conquer the 
sufferings of this world--the sufferings that eventually end in the 
suffering of death. 
    2. God allows suffering to teach a daily trust for 
deliverance. Note: Paul says that God continued to deliver him through the 
trials of life and that he continued to trust God to deliver him. The 
point is that we must trust God daily, trust Him to deliver us from 
daily sufferings. 
    "And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and 
will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever 
and ever" (2 Tim. 4:18). [Preacher's  Outline & Sermon Bible] 

    It has been well said that "earthly cares are a heavenly 
discipline." But they are even something better than discipline, - they are 
God's chariots, sent to take the soul to its high places of triumph. 
    Everything that comes to us becomes a chariot the moment we 
treat it as such; and on the other hand, even the smallest trials may 
be a Juggernaut car to crush us into misery or despair if we so 
consider them. It lies with each of us to choose which they shall be.... 
    Look upon your chastenings then, no matter how grievous they 
may be for the present, as God's chariots sent to carry your souls 
into the "high places" of spiritual achievement and uplifting, and 
you will find that they are, after all, "paved with love." 
    The Bible tells us that when God went forth for the 
salvation of His people, then He "did ride upon His horses and chariots of 
salvation." And it is the same now. Everything becomes a "chariot of 
salvation" when God rides upon it. He maketh even the "clouds his chariot," 
we are told, and "rideth on the wings of the wind." Therefore the 
clouds and storms that darken our skies and seem to shut out the 
shining of the sun of righteousness are really only God's chariots, into 
which we may mount with Him, and "ride prosperously" over all the 
darkness. Hannah Whitall Smith [Time With God SB] 

"LIFE IS DIFFICULT!" With these three words Scott Peck begins 
his bestselling book The Road Less Traveled But in 2 Corinthians 
Paul says this and more. Just where life is difficult, where our 
relationships are strained, where our competence is questioned, where our 
health and security are threatened God makes himself known in powerful 
comfort. We discover that one of the supreme greatnesses of Christianity 
is that it does not seek a supernatural escape from the 
difficulties of life. Instead it offers a supernatural use for them. Troubles 
become triumphs as God makes himself known in our weakness. [Quiet Time 

Paul wrote that any amount of suffering is worth enduring, for 
suffering makes God's people realize that God is the only One on whom they 
can rely.... Depending on oneself ultimately leads to destruction, 
because people cannot rescue themselves from death. If suffering in your 
life produces nothing more than a fervent dependence on God and a 
renewed prayer life, then in God's eyes the suffering may have been well 
worth the pain. (Life Application Commentary) 

Paul learned the lesson God had for him: he would not trust 
himself, but God alone... We have come a long way in our Christian lives 
when we learn to put faith in God alone and not in self, 
circumstances, or men.... The believer who fears the Lord and 
lives to please Him 
 enjoys peace and confidence even in the midst of trouble. What a lesson 
to learn! [Wiersbe Expository Outlines] 

Nothing but the most dangerous circumstances in which Paul was 
constantly placed could ever have taught him, and thus the church through 
him, the full meaning of the great promise of God he learned to 
claim: "My grace is sufficient for you" (2 Cor. 12:9). And nothing but 
the great trials and dangers we have experienced would ever have led 
some of us to know Him as we do, to trust Him as we have, and to draw 
from Him the great measure of His grace so indispensable during our 
times of greatest need. [Streams In The Desert By Cowman] 

All men have a strong tendency to trust in themselves, a 
tendency that is most difficult to overcome. It took "the sentence of 
death" and "a thorn in the flesh" before Paul overcame it. Israel's 
experiences on the way from Egypt to Canaan were designed to teach Israel 
this fundamental lesson. God often permits His people to experience 
dire straits in order that they may come to realize their own 
insufficiency and be induced to trust and hope in His sufficiency. Trials are 
requisite to Christian experience (Acts 14:22). It is fundamental to man's 
salvation that he learn to rely wholly upon Christ. Confidence in God is 
an essential factor in day-by-day Christian living. It is often in 
the fiery furnace that men learn to walk side by side with the Son 
of God (see Dan. 3:25)... A sense of need is ever prerequisite to 
receiving the gifts of Heaven [SDA Commentary] 

The Arabs have a proverb, "All sunshine makes a desert."  The 
danger of prosperity is that it encourages a false independence; it 
makes us think that we are well able to handle life alone. For every 
one prayer that rises to God in days of prosperity, ten thousand 
rise in days of adversity. As Lincoln had it, "I have often been 
driven to my knees in prayer because I had nowhere else to go." It is 
often in misfortune that a man finds out who are his true friends, and 
it often needs some time of adversity to show us how much we need 
God. The outcome was that Paul had an unshakable confidence in God. 
He knew now beyond all argument what he could do for him. If God 
could bring him through that, he could bring him through anything. The 
joyful cry of the Psalmist is, "Thou hast delivered my soul from death, 
my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling." (Ps 116:8.) What 
really converted John Bunyan was when he heard some old women sitting 
in the sun "talking about what God had done for their souls." The 
confidence of the Christian in God is not a thing of theory and 
speculation; it is a thing of fact and experience.  He knows what God has 
done for him and therefore he is not afraid. [Barclay Commentary] 

All comforts come from God, and our sweetest comforts are in 
him. He speaks peace to souls by granting the free remission of sins; 
and he comforts them by the enlivening influences of the Holy 
Spirit, and by the rich mercies of his grace. He is able to bind up the 
broken-hearted, to heal the most painful wounds, and also to give hope and joy 
under the heaviest sorrows. The favours God bestows on us, are not 
only to make us cheerful, but also that we may be useful to others. 
[Matthew Henry Commentary] 


A sentiment which guided all Paul's ministry, 
    He preach'd as though he ne'er preach again,
    As a dying man to dying men. by Baxter (Barnes' Notes)

We may have very little to give our friends; but, however little 
of this world's goods we possess, we may give them the priceless 
treasure of our prayers. [Barclay Commentary]