…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.
— 2 Corinthians 1:8,9
Are you currently facing hard times in your life? Today I want to encourage you from the Word of God and show you how to tackle these difficult circumstances and emerge victorious. The devil will try to convince you that you’re a failure, that your life is over, and that nothing good lies ahead for you; however, this simply isn’t true. These emotions are temporary and fleeting, and the enemy is trying to use them to hold you back and keep you from experiencing the fulfilled life that God wants you to enjoy.
Although we don’t like to admit it, we all occasionally have times in our lives when we hit a brick wall, so to speak. We don’t know what to say, what to do, where to turn, or even how to pray. Sometimes it seems as if we’ve hit a dead end and everything is finished, over, and done with. If you’ve ever been in a place like that, you know what a hard place this can be! These feelings usually arise when we think that we’ve failed, that people have misunderstood us, or that we’ve been unfairly judged. However, even when we’ve made serious mistakes, these setbacks are rarely as irreparable as they seem.
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I understand that these emotions feel very real in the moment. When others tell you that your situation is not as bad as you think or that you need to remember to be grateful for all the good in your life, it may even make you angry. Their comments may be right, but because you’re the one in the midst of the trial, you still feel hopeless. Somehow you’ve found yourself caught in a storm and you don’t know how to put one foot in front of the other to make your way out of it. You may feel like nothing you do pleases anyone, so you question why you should even try.
In truth, it doesn’t matter if the emotions you are experiencing stem from real personal failure or from circumstances outside of your control. It’s still your responsibility to get up, brush yourself off, and start moving forward again in your walk with God! Think about it — your entire faith is based on resurrection. The resurrection power of God is inside you, and it can lift you up above all the jumbled emotions and turmoil — into a better place than you’ve ever known in your life!
There have been many moments in my own life when I felt overwhelmed by circumstances and challenges. Usually those are the times when the devil seized the opportunity to whisper, There is no way out. You have no way to crawl out from where you are. You’re trapped with no escape. However, his words of discouragement and despair have never proven to be true! Although it may have taken longer than I anticipated to reach my goal and required me to grow to new levels of faith, there was always a way to do whatever Jesus had asked me to do, and I ultimately found victory in every challenge.
If we stick with our assigned tasks and keep moving forward — even if it’s one step at a time — we will always win! And after we’ve pressed beyond our struggles into victory, we’ll always be thankful we didn’t give up!
When I am facing challenges in my life, I always derive immense strength from Paul’s words in Second Corinthians 1:8 and 9, where he wrote, “…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.” Paul wrote these verses when he felt trapped by crushing ordeals in his ministry, and his words tell me that he didn’t know if he would survive. How thankful I am that God didn’t hide the apostle’s difficult moments from us!
Paul’s words in Second Corinthians 1:8 and 9 teach us what to do when we feel like we simply cannot make it any further in our own strength or that we’re no match for the challenges we’re facing. We simply must surrender to the resurrection power of God! That’s what the apostle Paul did when he found himself face to face with life-threatening situations. When Paul wrote, “…we had the sentence of death in ourselves,” he was at one of those dead end places that I’m talking about today. In fact, the situation he faced was so acute that he compared it to a sentence of death. That’s dramatic language!
The word “sentence” is the Greek word krino — a word that usually referred to a jury who had just handed down their final sentence in a court of law. You could say that it denoted a verdict or a final sentence pronounced as the result of a court trial. After all the evidence had been presented and the judge had examined all the facts, a final verdict was issued by the court.
By using this word “sentence” or krino, Paul told us that so many problems were stacked against him and his companions that, by all appearances, it seemed like there was no way for them to escape or even to survive. It looked as if they’d hit a dead end, as if everything was finished, over, and done with! Paul went on to say that it looked so insurmountable that, as far as he was concerned, it seemed there was only one possible outcome — death!
But in spite of how bad things appeared, Paul didn’t die, nor did he fail at fulfilling the job God had given him to do. It may have looked like it was the end of the road for Paul, but it was really the beginning of a new supernatural flow of divine power into his life. That’s why he went on to say that through it all, he learned not to trust in himself, but in God who raises the dead.
Paul had been under intense pressure, but right in the midst of this horrible situation, God’s resurrection power was released inside Paul and he was rescued! Paul said it was so dramatic that it was almost as if he and his companions had been raised from the dead.
When you don’t know what else to do but turn to God, that’s usually when His resurrection power can begin to operate in you in the greatest way. You see, in God there’s no such thing as a hopeless situation. That dead end place you may be facing right now can become a place of new beginnings!
Let me tell you, people all around you are struggling right now. The devil is telling them that they won’t make it. But they will make it if they choose to turn their focused gaze to Jesus, and you will too! Your victory may not come as you thought, but God is with you, and He will get you through whatever it is you’re facing if you’ll surrender to the Holy Spirit’s resurrection power inside you.
This is not the end for you! God has a marvelous plan for your life, and the devil simply doesn’t have the power to hijack what He has planned. Remember — if the devil has tried to tell you that you’re a failure, that life is over, and that nothing good lies ahead of you in the future, it’s not true! What you’re feeling will pass, and better days are ahead. Just determine to lay hold of the resurrection power of Christ in you, and let it lift you up above the storm into a brighter and better place!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, I thank You for Your marvelous plan for my life. I praise You because the devil is powerless to hijack it. I turn my attention from my failures and fix my gaze upon Jesus, who is the Author and Finisher of my faith! My victory might not be coming to me exactly as I expected — nonetheless, my victory is on the way. I surrender to the power of the Holy Spirit and allow Him to flow through me to bring me to a place of victory!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that when I don’t know what to do, I turn to God for direction and help, and He releases His wisdom in me. There is no such thing as a hopeless situation. When I feel that I am facing a dead end, God’s power turns it into a place of a new beginning. What I am facing is not the end for me — it is, in fact, the starting point for a glorious new beginning. When the devil tries to tell me that nothing good lies ahead for me, I remind him of the future that is awaiting HIM! I confess that the resurrection power of Jesus Christ has already lifted me far above his attacks and that a brighter and better future awaits me!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Have you ever felt that you came to a dead end place in your life, only to find it was the beginning of an entirely new chapter, which turned out better than anything you had ever previously known?
- How do you respond when the devil tries to attack your mind with thoughts of failure and defeat? Do you submit to his insinuations and fall into despair, or do you rise up in the power of the Spirit to take those thoughts captive?
- How would you advise someone whose mind was under assault with thoughts of failure and defeat? How would you instruct them to take authority over those thoughts?