Our verse for today comes from 2 Corinthians 1:9, ” Indeed, we felt we had received the death sentence. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.
Are you they type of person who learns from instruction, or do you have to learn things the hard way? I remember a time as a child when my dad gave me some instruction on the dangers of red pepper, especially as it pertained to my eyes. And being an elementary school- aged kid, with wisdom abounding, I wasted little time in finding out firsthand what it feels like to mess with pepper and then rub your eyes. As a young baseball player, I remember watching a batter before me get plunked by the hard-throwing, less-than-accurate pitcher of the other team. Choosing to learn the easy way this time, I approached the plate with considerable fear, and proceeded to strike out after three pitches that may or may not have been hittable with a bat the size of a snow shovel. Now, maybe if my dad had rubbed the pepper in his own eyes, I might have heeded his warning and avoided the pain. Certainly seeing my teammate take one in the side influenced me enough to believe a speedy baseball was meant to hit a bat and not my body.
So isn’t it interesting that Paul, who has experienced quite the list of hardships and difficulties, says here that he felt as if he was under the death penalty just so he would know to trust in God and not himself. Would that qualify as learning from instruction or going about it the hard way? We hear over and over in Scripture that we need to die to ourselves and live for our Savior, but have we learned what that means? Do we need to stare down that green mile that ends at the executioners chair to truly believe that God is all we’re supposed to rely on? Will we heed His warnings that we cannot earn our way, that we cannot buy our way, and we cannot hope our way into His good pleasure? What will happen to you to teach you that you should rely on Him and not yourself? Can you go ahead and learn it the easy way? Perhaps. But how will you know where your faith lies unless you have to lay your faith out there? So step up to the plate, as it were, and rely solely on the One who conquered death.
As we seek Him today, let every situation you face remind you to rely completely and only on Jesus. And thank Him for His perfect purpose in every detail of your life.