The Power of His Presence

We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.  (2 Corinthians 1:8-9) 

Death sentence. Those words instantly convey an end without hope. When sentenced to death, you’re alive now, but death is ahead, and there is no escaping it—at least not with human logic or strength.  

Sometimes, like Paul and Timothy’s experience, life can be so overwhelming that it can feel like a death sentence. We are brought to the end of ourselves—there is nothing left we can do or give. Every ounce of life as we’ve known it is gone. This state of mind sounds ominous and grave. But it depends on perspective—the perspective Paul and Timothy had.  

They saw their death sentence as a reference point for where God would pick up where they left off. If God wanted to take them to their heavenly home, eternal life awaited. If he chose to orchestrate their circumstances to make a way out, new life on a new path awaited. Either way, no death can withstand the power of his presence; no end is final when it’s met with God’s resurrecting ability. When looked at that way, the meaning of death changes to new life every time.  

What in your life feels like a death sentence? Will you agree to its end and let the God of all comfort begin afresh? Will you trust in his power and rest in his plan? He loves you and has only your good—and his glory—in mind. You can rest in that and never succumb to the power of death again.  

Father, thank you for a new way of looking at loss in my life. Thank you for bringing me to the point of knowing that, no matter how overwhelming life can be, you are working life into every aspect for my good. I want to rest in you today and just be in your life-giving presence. All glory to you. Amen.  

Lisa Stilwell  
God’s Truth in Troubled Times 

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