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 1:9
Although we don’t like to admit it, we all occasionally run into dead-end places in our lives where we don’t know what to say, what to do, where to turn, or even how to pray. Sometimes it seems like we’ve hit a dead-end — in other words, it seems like everything is finished, over, and done with! If you’ve ever been in a place like this, you know what a hard place this can be!
Through these kinds of experiences, you and I discover that in our own strength, we are no match for some of life’s problems. That’s why we must learn to depend on the power and wisdom of God!
The apostle Paul tells us that he, too, went through this kind of learning experience when he found himself face-to-face with life-threatening situations in his own ministry. In Second Corinthians 1:9, he says, “But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead.” Paul was definitely at one of those dead-end places that we’re 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!
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Notice the word “sentence” in the verse above. It is taken from the Greek word krino. This word krino normally refers to a jury who just handed down their final sentence in a court of law. You could say that the word krino denotes a verdict or a sentence pronounced as the result of a court trial.
After all the evidence is presented and the judge has examined all the facts, a final verdict is issued by the court. This is exactly the word that Paul uses in this dramatic verse. In using such a word, Paul is telling us that so much evidence and so many problems were stacked up against him and his companions, by all appearances it looked like there was no way for them to escape or even to survive. It looked like they had hit a dead-end; everything for them seemed to be finished, over, and done with!
- Have you ever had a time in your life when it looked like it was the end of the road for you and your dreams?
- Did you think there was no way out?
- Did it look like there were so many problems stacked against you that you’d never survive what you were facing?
This is precisely what Paul must have felt when he was facing overwhelming problems in Asia. He used the Greek word krino to let us know that as far as he was concerned, there was only one possible outcome for his life — death!
In essence, Second Corinthians 1:9 could be translated:
“As far as we were concerned, the final verdict was in, and the verdict demanded our deaths….”
But in spite of how it looked, Paul didn’t die, nor did he fail at fulfilling the job God had given him. It may have looked like it was the end of the road, but it was really the beginning of a new supernatural flow of divine power into Paul’s 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 such intense pressure that he felt death was unavoidable. Then right from the midst of this horrible situation, God’s power was released and Paul was rescued! Paul said it was as if he and his companions had been raised from the dead.
When you don’t know what else to do and when you have no one else to turn to, that’s usually when God’s resurrection power begins to operate in you to the greatest measure! You see, there’s no such thing as no hope. As long as there is a loving Heavenly Father you can call on, there is still hope for you! If you learn to rely on Him, that dead-end place in your life that you’re facing right now can become a new beginning!
So call out to your Heavenly Father right now. Expect Him to release His resurrection power on your behalf to turn your dead-end situation around!
My Prayer for Today
Lord, I have found that in my own strength, I am no match for life’s problems. I thank You for revealing this to me today. From this day forward, please help me turn to You immediately when I come up against a dead-end place in my life. I ask You, Lord, to help me fully surrender each of these areas to You so You can have full access to them and raise them, one by one, from the dead. Please show me Your life-giving power today.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
My Confession for Today
I confess that God’s resurrection power is released on my behalf to turn all dead-end situations in my life around! I do not trust in my own efforts or human thinking but in God and His life-giving power. I choose to partake of this power today by releasing every dead-end place to the Lord. I trust Him to perfect that which concerns me, and I look to see His power made manifest this day in my life!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
Questions to Answer
1. Can you think of other people who faced impossible situations, but later experienced the delivering power of God that changed their situation?
2. Can you name Bible characters who learned to rely on God and experienced the same delivering power?
3. What kind of faith confessions can you start speaking to get your faith in gear and to release God’s supernatural power into your situation?