Despaired Even of Life

Living Abundantly
According to God's Word Series

Read Time: 5 Minutes

II Corinthians 1
:8 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:

There are times in our lives that are very very hard.  There can be assaults on our minds, bodies, or situations that put us at the end of our ability to prevail. God gives us an example of that in II Corinthians 1:8. Paul was a person like you and I. He had a passion for God's people; the desire to preach the gospel was ever burning in his soul. This caused him to experience great tribulation. Every where he went there was great deliverance but also great opposition. While in Asia Paul and Timothy was being harassed, threatened and beaten for bringing the gospel to the area.

We all have our personal limits as to what we can handle. When we reach that limit we are "despaired even of life." We feel we simply cannot continue in our own strength. We just don't have it in us anymore. The Aramaic Peshitta Translation renders "we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life" as " We were greatly pressured beyond our strength, to the point that our lives were about to end."

II Corinthians 1 [Aramaic Peshitta Translation]
:8 Now we want you to know, our brothers,
     about the pressure that we had in Asia.
     We were greatly pressured beyond our strength,
     to the point that our lives were about to end.
      [common translations: despaired even of life]

:9 And we resigned ourselves to death,
     that we should not have confidence in ourselves,
     but in God who raises the dead [and it was].
:10 he who rescued us from violent deaths.
     And we trust he will rescue us again

Paul and Timothy came to the point that their lives were in grave danger but their confidence was in God. In this situation God rescued them from violent deaths and they trusted that God would continue to do so.

Your confidence cannot be in yourself no matter the circumstances. you are imperfect, ultimately fragile, and weak in yourself. No matter how naturally healthy, smart, or strong you are there is always that limit within yourself. But with God, He is limitless. Paul and Timothy knew this; their trust was completely in God.

When you have that trust, that confidence, there is a peace that lives in your soul that passes understanding.

Isaiah 26
:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,
    whose mind is stayed on thee:
    because he trusteth in thee.

Philippians 4
:6 Be careful for nothing;
     but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
     let your requests be made known unto God.
:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,
     shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

A situation can be impossible for you at this time but that doesn't matter, you must let that peace that the holy spirit brings flood your body and cleanse it from all fear and pressures.

It is that joy of the Lord that gives you strength. (Nehemiah 8:1-10)

Hebrews 12
:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;
     who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
     despising the shame,
     and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The joy that God showed Jesus Christ in the garden gave him the strength to experience the most horrible beatings, humiliations, and death that could be put on anyone. He kept his mind focused on the joy God set before him, and that is you and me. That joy is realized by spending time with God, getting to know Him via His Word and conversations with Him. We have entrance into the throne room of grace. He made us righteous so that we could stand before Him without any sense of sin guilt, or condemnation.

He provides knowledge and wisdom; keep looking to God and Jesus Christ our Savior and mediator. The holy spirit will guide us. Get in the habit of checking in with God in every thing. Before you start any task or even considering what to do next; check in. Make listening for God and His direction through the gift of holy spirit a habit.

There will be times when life is more than you can bear.

I Corinthians 10
:13 There hath no temptation taken you
    but such as is common to man:
    but God is faithful,
    who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able;
    but will with the temptation also make a way to escape,
    that ye may be able to bear it.

God is always there for you. He is your Heavenly Father. You are like a toddler learning to walk. Remember, His ways are higher than your ways. He is always there with each step. Let Him guide you.

Philippians 4
:19 But my God shall supply all your need
    according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
:20 Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

This is either the truth or it is not. I believe God's Word is true. What do you need? God is able and willing to supply in every category of your life: physical items, shelter, health, peace, confidence, comfort, knowledge, wisdom, relationships etc. He supplies all our needs. His Word, His promises are either true or they are not.

Paul and Timothy were delivered not because they figured out how to escape but because God did. They had confidence in God, that He would deliver them from death. They also had the believers in Corinth praying for them. God had Paul write that in the Word for a reason. Enlist the prayer of others that stand strong in faith and pray with them, thanking God for the deliverance; He provides.

Matthew 18
:18 Verily I say unto you,
    Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven:
    and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
:19 Again I say unto you,
    That if two of you shall agree on earth
    as touching any thing that they shall ask,
    it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
    there am I in the midst of them.

Fret not, do not despair, your Father in heaven delivers you.

For Further Study:

The Joy of the Lord is Our Strength

Ezra - The Lord Made Them Joyful