For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many. For our boast is this: the testimony of our conscience that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you. For we are not writing to you anything other than what you read and acknowledge and I hope you will fully acknowledge— just as you did partially acknowledge us, that on the day of our Lord Jesus you will boast of us as we will boast of you.
There are some great things that God has brought to my attention.
- Paul was burdened beyond his own strength. But, this was to make Him rely on God. We sometimes think that God won't give us more than we can handle, but this seems to tell us that is exactly what He does! He wants us to rely on Him.
- When God speaks of His power, it is often connected with raising the dead. The resurrection is significant.
- Our hope HAS to be set on Christ for anything. We are not our best hope, He is.
- We can help others through prayer. It is effectual in accomplishing God's purposes.
- Our best behavior is based on the grace of God, not our works.