I need to speak openly, honestly and freely to you, just now. I am overwhelmed and I am going through trials, that just seem to heavy to bear. I feel (there's that word) my abilities to cope are being crushed, under the weight of it all.
I suppose I am in good company, for we see in verse 8 (above) that Paul was pressed out of measure, above his strength and in despair of even his own life. Now, I am not Paul, and I don't claim to be, however I can identify with Paul's suffering and anguish, just as I am sure many of you are able to relate.
I don't know exactly what Paul's sufferings were, perhaps being mistreated in Ephesus, the riot that resulted and the people who tried to kill him were a large part of his personal pain. Paul had also reproved the church in Corinth deeply, and he wasn't sure he would be accepted there any longer. It may have been, the accusations of him being unstable, dishonest and misappropriating the offering monies.
Maybe, it was the accusations that Paul was not a good speaker, and the fact that he was not being highly recommended by his brethren. Surely, their charges of an unsound mind, must have weighed heavy on Paul!
Then it seems like, the more Paul loved those who rejected him, the less he received any love in return. Certainly, rejection by the body of Christ and the lack of love, may have been the last straw that brought Paul to the point of despairing his own life.
Paul shared and told us so much about his sufferings, we just have to look at the following scriptures: "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body." 2 Corinthians 4:8-10
God's Word tells us that we will have many afflictions. And, although our tests may seem to severe and to intense, we must hold to the truth that God has a plan and a purpose for our lives, despite every single trial and struggle. Therefore, I choose (we can't go by feelings) to believe and trust God for the answers... it doesn't make it easy, but I know whom I have believed in! 2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
I also have come to believe that the answer to some of these powerful and profound battles lies within the body of Christ. One of the greatest ministries, that is lacking within the church today, is that of comfort and edification. The ability to share real love and to uplift others in their time of troubles, comes first from the Heart of God, but then in needs to be brought back to the Body of Jesus Christ! Many believers simply do not know where to turn in their pain.
The need doesn't belong to the world or even Christian psychologists who often use biblical words to hide their psychological approaches. We don't need experts or specialists, not if we say, we have the love of God within our hearts. Man's advice or instruction will never be able to alleviate a troubled soul, but God's love will soothe the most savage beast!!
We simply need to love one another, by sharing and caring for each other. I suspect there is someone, now, who could benefit from your taking time to address their pain and sufferings. Why not reach out? Your love and joy, might be all it takes!
It might be sharing a simple meal or offering to pick up a few groceries. Don't over concern yourself, sometimes, just being there is all that is needed. Most people just want and need to know that someone cares about what is happening to them.
Make your approach only after you've prayed and asked God, "What can I do to help?, Who can I show kindness to? and Who needs to be shown the love of Jesus, today?" Then let your faith lead, wherever God may take you! And, show your love to someone who is in the midst of a storm! I know they will feel better... and I'm pretty sure you will to!
Share the love of Jesus, with someone today!