Strength Beyond Self
2 Corinthians 1:8-11
“Into every life a little rain must fall.” So goes the familiar saying about the inevitability of hardship. But what if the rain turns into a torrential downpour—a life challenge that requires strength beyond what is humanly possible? The apostle Paul describes such a situation in his letter to the Corinthians. He wrote of an affliction that weighed so heavily on his heart and body that he didn’t expect to survive.
Paul’s approach to his problem still works today: “We would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead . . . and will deliver us” (2 Cor. 1:9-10). The strength that we need during trials is available through Jesus Christ, whose supernatural energy flows through every believer’s mind, body, and spirit.
How does this happen? When someone receives Jesus as Savior, His Spirit comes to live inside the new believer (John 14:17). As a result of this “indwelling,” the power that Christ demonstrated while on earth prevails in those who now call upon Him for aid. However, for us to access His supernatural strength, we must trust His promise to supply what we need when we need it (Phil. 4:19). As long as we attempt to muddle through using our own abilities, we will prevent His Spirit from unleashing divine help.
Jesus Christ’s power is released into our life when we acknowledge our helplessness. The effect is immediate. As soon as we surrender to the Lord, His might is working inside us so we can endure hardship while maintaining our joy and peace.
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