“For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope” (2 Corinthians 1:8-10, NASB95).
Paul wrote about difficulties he and his companions faced as they continued spreading the gospel in obedience to God. They thought they were going to die, but even in the face of death, they hoped in God. They were certain God would deliver them from death into life and were content to die with that thought as their motivation. They trusted completely in God.
The world scurries and flails at the thought of death. Whatever the new killer is, it becomes the center of the news cycle and pervades people’s thoughts. There will always be a killer in the world. It may be a virus one day, a terrorist organization the next, but there will always be a killer. The threat of death is a powerful motivator, and those who desire control will use it at every opportunity.
Rather than threaten death, God offers life. God offers freedom from the oppressive fears that herd the masses. When you feel burdened beyond your strength, God offers peace through prayer (Phil. 4:6-7), strength through fellowship (1 Cor. 14:26), and wisdom through His Word (James 1:5, 22). While others scurry and flail, fearing death, trust in God and look forward to life.