Wednesday, December 28, 2011

AT THE END OF YOUR ROPE

Paul wrote “. . . that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:9). He said, in essence, “The Lord brought me to the end of all human help, the brink of death. It was a place so hopeless, only the God of resurrection power could have rescued me!”

What a wonderful place to be—at the end of your rope! I have always said that when you hit rock bottom you bump into God! Yet, if you listen to most Christians in the midst of their suffering, you hear, “I’ll make it somehow. I’m hanging in the there. I just live one day at a time.”

Since childhood we have been spoon-fed the concept of self-sufficiency: “Take it like a man! Men don’t cry!” How many times have you tried to work out all your troubles? How often have you been flooded with temptations that overwhelmed you?

Please don’t misunderstand me. I believe God want us to fight the good fight of faith, but the Lord has a way of allowing us to be “pressed out of measure.” Nothing you try works. Nothing you have read seems to help. No counsel of others makes any sense. Suddenly, you are forced into a crisis that obliterates all your trust in yourself. You have no hope—except to give up all human hope. You are forced to trust God—and you see that the only way out is to trust!

Paul clearly is saying to us, “I had the sentence of death in me. I was tested beyond measure, at the end of all hope. And it was all so I would no longer trust in myself! I had to turn to God, with faith that He alone could save me out of my sufferings!”

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

What is this way of escape? It is coming to the end of your own strength and turning absolutely to God! It is saying, as Paul did, “I do not trust in myself anymore!”

The way of escape is simple, childlike faith in God. It is trusting Him totally to see you through it all, resigning yourself and saying, “God, I put everything on You!”