Tuesday, September 1, 2015

God Uses The Struggle

Scripture Text:  2 Corinthians 1:1-11

As a result of his suffering Paul says he stopped relying on himself and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. Paul was a talented guy. Above average intelligence, and a good model of faithfulness to his belief. No doubt that relying on himself would take him far in life. Yet he does not have the same skill and ability that God does, by name raising the dead.

We are people that can go far on our own ability. There is a certain amount of intelligence in our lives and we have skills to navigate life. Looking back there is even a track record of working through some difficult times. It is easy to see how we can begin to rely on ourselves more than we rely on God.

Relying on ourselves is woven into the fabric of the culture in the United States. Individualism is at an all time high. As a result self-reliance is at an all time high. This is a dangerous thing in our relationship with God and other people. In our relationship with God we begin to think we have the ability to make our own way through life without any connection to the creator of the universe, who is great in power, love and grace. In relationships with other people, it can become easy to think we do not need anyone else to get by.

While marriage is not focused on an individual, it is easy to rely more on our marriage than on God. The various trials and joys we face can easily feel like ours to work with and leave God out of the equation. From time to time God uses the struggles to remind and teach us of our need to rely on God alone. To be clear, God does not cause the struggle, rather God uses the struggle.

No matter how smart we are. No matter how strong the bond we have as a married couple. When we start to rely on ourselves more that we rely on God, trouble is ahead. Like Paul we should learn to rely on God alone, you know the one who raises the dead.

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