A message that is not acceptable in many American churches today is that believers may sometimes say, “I was so burdened that I hardly have any strength left for life itself.” This is a reality, though, in some very godly Christians. Why shouldn’t it be? We serve a God who delivers captives and who relieves those who are heavily burdened.
The Apostle Paul openly wrote about his burdens that fell into this category. “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. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many” (2 Corinthians 1:9-11, ESV).
Basically, Paul is saying, “I had a problem then. I have a problem now, and I’ll have a problem later.” For the modern-day believer, this is almost a prediction that there are going to be events and struggles where we must depend on divine deliverance. This is contrary to much of what’s being said in the church today. People say things like “I don’t have a problem now, and I never will have a problem. I ‘confess’ that I will never be sick or financially troubled.”
Not only is this position not biblical, but if we believe that, we’re missing out on God’s deliverance. We’re missing out on the powerful glory of God that will set us free. It’s the things that I’m delivered from, where I’ve come from, what God has done for me that causes me to rejoice the most.
Paul was delivered from a pharisaical mode of life where he hunted down and killed other people. He went from a hatred of Christ to becoming a lover of the heart and mind of the Savior. God can give you the gift of looking back at your past and being able to say with Paul, “He has delivered me.” Do not shy away from hardship. This is where our Father meets us and gloriously reveals his ability as a deliverer. God is powerful to deliver and set us free, and he will bring glory to himself through our deliverance. Amen!