For Paul, life was often very difficult. People often opposed him when he was teaching Godís message. Many of his enemies were very cruel. Paul knew that he was constantly in danger of death*.
To us, Paul seems to have had extraordinary courage and strength. However, that was not Paulís opinion about himself. Paul was very aware of his own weakness*. When he had troubles, he suffered from mental strain*, fear* and physical pain*.
Paul explains here how he dealt with such terrible troubles. When the danger was great, Paul reminded himself about Godís greatness and Godís power. In particular, Paul reminded himself that God brings life to dead people. That simple belief helped Paul very much.
Paul saw that he could depend on God completely about both his life, and his death. He had given his life wholly to God; so if Paul lived, he would use his life to serve God. On the other hand, if Paul died, he would be with Christ in heaven. That would be much better than Paulís life on this earth*.
Paul did not need to worry about an early death. He was very aware that the churches needed his help*. He knew that God had given him more work to do*. However, only God could give Paul the life, health and strength that he needed to do that work. Like Abraham, Paul believed that God can give life even to a dead body. Because of that belief, Abraham could offer to God even the life of the son whom God had promised to him*. For the same reason, Paul constantly offered his own life to God*. He depended completely on God.
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.