Saturday, October 31, 2009

Devotion: Learning to Live

Learning to Live

by Marsha Iddings

2 Corinthians 1:8-10 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: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;

Lately, I've had some tough days physically. There have been some days that I have done very little but sit on the couch because the energy just wasn't there to get up and do much else. One of those days, I was looking at my Twitter feed and saw a wonderful quote by Richard Baxter.

“Weakness and pain helped me to study how to die; that set me on studying how to live.”

It seems the Apostle Paul found himself in this situation. He despaired even of life at times. He said they had the sentence of death in themselves. Paul and his companions learned how to die.

Paul and his companions didn't stop there, however, they went on to study how to live. They learned that to live they should not trust in themselves, but in God who raises the dead.

Notice that Paul says God delivered (past), doth deliver (present) and will yet deliver (future). This brings great comfort to my heart. I can look back and see how God has delivered me in the past. In my present troubles, I can be confident that He is delivering me and I know he will deliver me in my uncertain future.

This is not to say that He will heal me of my ills and that life will be a bed roses and ease. But God has accomplished my redemption in the past through Jesus Christ. He is presently sanctifying me through my trials and He will ultimately deliver me from this world of hardship in the future.

Have you learned how to die yet? Has that taught you how to live? It should teach us to live with eternity in view. It should teach us to have a greater trust in Christ, and to live with a view to doing all things for His glory.

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