2 Corinthians 1:9 (ESV)
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.
When we struggle with the hardships of life, we need to recognize that there are biblical truths that counter our pains. We will see this in multiple places in the letter of 2 Corinthians.
In the above passage, Paul has been telling the Corinthians about the hardships that he and his fellow workers had recently faced. IN fact, these men had suffered so greatly that they despaired of life. These guys felt like they were going to die under the oppression and the hardships that came into their lives.
Now, stop and think. What do you do when you fear death? What do you do when it looks like the life you have is coming to an end? How do you continue to serve God? How do you continue to make it?
In the verse above, Paul clearly finds hope in one simple truth: God raises the dead. This truth gave Paul and his fellow evangelists the hope that they needed to press on through the struggle. IF God raises the dead, then they need not fear even death.
What would change in your life if you remembered very clearly the fact that God raises the dead. Take this beyond a simple doctrine that you ascribe to. Take it deep. What happens if you really believe, deep down in your bones, that God raises the dead?
If you do not know Jesus, you had better let the fact that God raises the dead sober you. If God raises the dead, then this life is not all there is. If this life is not all that there is, you would be wise to think about where you will spend your eternity. If God is the One who raises the dead, then it is with God that you need to be right. And if you need to be right with God, there is only one way, by coming to God through Jesus (John 14:6).
If you are a Christian, the fact that God raises the dead should change what you value, what you live for. If God raises the dead, we should be more passionate evangelists. If God raises the dead, we should be more willing to give up our comforts in the here and now. If God raises the dead, then we should be willing to take risks that others find absurd. If God raises the dead, we should be able to face suffering and death with hope.
Paul was able to handle unbelievable pressure because he relied on God who raises the dead. Countless Christians today find hope in the fact that this life is not all there is. Today, why not consider what it really means that God will raise the dead? Why not consider what might change in your life as you come to truly take hold of this massive truth?