“We think you ought to know, dear brothers, 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. And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.” — 2 Corinthians 1:8-11
Tragic events unfolded yesterday resulting in the loss of a dozen human lives. The general consensus where I live in south Alabama is shock and disbelief. Many have thought and expressed these words: “Not us! It couldn’t happen here. This is a small town; this is a quiet community.”
What do you do when you’re crushed and overwhelmed by such a tragedy as this? For many there is no answer. There is no solid ground on which one may “steady his footing” when something like this happens. For many, only the anesthetic of time can numb the hurt and give reprieve…only time.
There are those for which there is another reality. For those who have come to God in repentance and experienced His forgiveness of sin and His free gift of eternal life through a relationship with Jesus Christ, there is something else.
Paul wrote and told the Corinthian Christians that he was “crushed and overwhelmed” and “thought we would never get through it.” He realized that the whole experience of tragedy and his brush with death was for the purpose of teaching him to trust God.
Paul was telling the Corinthians that in times like these, trust, and our relationship with God cannot be compartmentalized. He said we must learn “to rely only on God.” We must place our confidence in Him so that He can continue to work and rescue us from every mortal danger.
While many are blindly searching for answers, those who know the Father personally have already found the Answer. As Christians we are to trust God.
This trust is not passive but powerful. It will bear fruit. Paul said that when we display our faith by trusting in the Lord at times like these, “then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered…”