We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 2 Corinthians 1:8
Read: 2 Corinthians 1:7-14
Listen: 2 Corinthians 1
In 2 Corinthians, Paul writes about the persecution he and others suffered in bringing the gospel to the province of Asia. He uses a metaphor to illustrate his point. Grapes or olives must be crushed by a press to make wine or olive oil. Paul says they were “crushed and squeezed” to the point of death. In this time of pressure, Paul talks about relying on the God who raises the dead.
Although we may not be facing the same extreme things as Paul, many of us feel pressure on every side. Some of us wonder how we’re going to pay the bills. Others feel the pressure of schooling kids at home. Or we have added pressure as we try to keep our family healthy, or care for sick family members.
Whatever our situation, we can find strength in the same place as Paul. God loves us and is caring for us even now. What’s more, our God provides hope based on Jesus’ resurrection. We have strength and hope because God raised Jesus from the dead and promises to do the same for those who follow him. Jesus saw his resurrection coming. He knew he would be fully renewed, fully alive, fully restored. While our immediate hope is that things will get back to normal—our permanent hope is in our resurrection to come.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Write about the pressure you are feeling right now. Then spend time in prayer, giving these things to God. Pray something like this, “God, I feel pressure in so many areas right now. Specifically, I feel pressure to ______. I am giving that to you. Help me to focus on you and give me the strength to care for those around me. I will trust you and lean on you.”
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.