Apostle Paul at times became discouraged!
"For we would not, brethren, have you
ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were
pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we
despaired even of life." 2nd Corinthians 1:8
"would" translates "thelo," a Greek word meaning "to desire or
The noun "adelphos"
literally means those who are from the "same womb." Paul
is here writing to Christians. He has earlier called them
"saints." See 1st Corinthians 1:2.
ignorant" is an expression derived from what eventually became
our word "agnostic." It means "not having knowledge."
"trouble" is depicted by "thlipsis," a noun meaning pressure,
distress or straits ... enclosed narrow places.
His trouble in
Asia is likely a reference to his problems in Ephesus, where he
remained for three years preaching and teaching the Word of God.
There he was nearly killed in a riot that broke out over one of
their goddesses, Diana.
"came" to Paul, a verb meaning "was born" or "was created" or
occasionally "was married!" Paul certainly did not view
this danger as a "chance" event! It was "custom made" for
him! He knew he always world have such trials too ...
being "married" to them even! God had already forewarned
Paul that he would suffer greatly for the sake of the Gospel!
See Acts 9:16.
translates "bareo" which means "to carry a heavy load!"
And "kata" is added to the verse here, intensifying the action
of Paul's being "pressed!"
measure" is a noun meaning that which is "thrown beyond" the
expected distance! "Out of sight" we might say!
Maybe even "out of bounds!"
strength" is in Greek "huper" (hyper to us) and "dunamis"
...beyond all human ability or power to cope! This is a
hopelessly difficult situation Paul is describing.
the conjunction here, means "with the result that ...." Or
"therefore" or "thus."
under which Paul was laboring naturally made him ... "despair
even of life!"
"despair" is unusual. It is a compound term, "exaporeomai,"
meaning "out of" (Greek = "ek") and "not" (Greek = "a") and "poreuomai"
(Greek = "to travel a road")! Putting it all together ...
Paul had lost his will to keep on "traveling the road of life!"
He was ready to exit!
Paul is about
as "low" here, about as discouraged as I have ever seen him!
Of course it
seems to be that hardships like this one were being used by
Paul's enemies at Corinth to attack him.
apparently were saying such things as: "If he were a real
Preacher, a real Apostle, God would surely protect him from all
very similar to those spoken by Job's three so-called "friends"
proved to be false however!
indeed a man Of God, a real one!
And the Book
of 2nd Corinthians proves it!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
Paul and the
He majored on
that grand theme!
crucified, buried and risen again!
Paul took the
Truth of the Resurrection of Jesus and applied it to nearly
every area of the Christian life!
I even mean
areas like "suffering!"
Preacher Paul: "For we would not,
brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in
Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength,
insomuch that we despaired even of life: but we had the sentence
of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves,
but in God which raiseth the dead." 2nd Corinthians
was threatened ... many times ... as he preached the Word of
He has one
particular occasion in mind here, likely the "silversmith"
incident at Ephesus. He feels that the "death sentence"
had been passed upon him. Several times it had! Paul was
the victim of numerous plots and schemes, all of which were
meant to harm him.
examine verse 9 above: "But we had the
sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in
ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead."
"sentence" is in Greek "apokrima" and means a judgment, a
judicial pronouncement. Apparently a death threat was made
against Paul during that Ephesian riot described in Acts 19.
But instead of
feeling sorry for himself or going into some kind of "pity
party," the great Apostle sought to learn something spiritual
and beneficial from the danger he was facing!
He thought, "I
cannot trust myself in this matter. I am as good as a dead
man. The whole city is 'after' me. I must trust One bigger
than me! I am but miserable mortal human flesh!"
reasons the Apostle, "I shall trust One who has conquered
"My life is
threatened ... that we should not trust in
ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead."
I believe that
Paul here is really saying that he had decided that if those
folks had killed him ... and God had so desired ... He could
have raised his preacher from the dead!
That would be
nothing to the Almighty God!
After all, He
has done that before!
He had even
raised Paul from the dead once!
"And there came thither certain
Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people,
and, having stoned Paul,
drew him out of the city,
supposing he had been
dead. Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him,
he rose up, and
came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas
to Derbe." Acts 14:19-20 (Folks, Luke is a
doctor! He does not use the word "dead" casually!)
And Paul had
seen ... visibly seen ... the resurrected Lord Jesus! That
happened on the way to Damascus that day in Acts 9!
was a reality to this godly man!
there is good evidence that Paul has made one trip to paradise
and back too!
"I knew a man in Christ above fourteen
years ago, whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of
the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth; such an one caught up to
the third heaven. And I knew such a man, whether in the
body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth; how that
he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words,
which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such an one will I
glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities."
2nd Corinthians 12:2-5 (Paul here is
obviously speaking of himself!)
Death did not
He knew what
was waiting on the other side!
confident of the resurrection!
So much so
that when death came his way ... which it did often ... he
didn't even flinch!
confidently say ... "But whenever we had the sentence of death
in ourselves, we did not trust in ourselves, but in God which
raiseth the dead!"
What a way to
transform a danger into a delight!
A problem into
No wonder they
call it "amazing" grace!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
praise Paul heaps upon our dear Lord in 2nd Corinthians 1:9.
There he, having been in a place of extreme danger, says of our
great God: "Who delivered us from so great
a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet
words, Paul just declared that he would have been dead for sure
... that Ephesian "riot" of Acts 19 is in view here I'm pretty
sure ... but God "delivered" him! And since then God had
kept Paul "delivered" or safe day after day! And Paul had
the faith to believe that God would continue to "deliver" him
for some time to come!
Talk about the
"safety" of the Lord!
teaches us that: "The
horse is prepared against the day
of battle: but safety is
of the LORD."
Three times in
our verse for today Paul mentions the fact that God either had
delivered him (past tense) or was currently delivering him
(present tense) or would yet deliver him (future tense)!
"Who delivered us
from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that
he will yet deliver us."
"trust" contains a form of the Greek word for "hope." "Elpizo"
actually here means "to put one's hope and trust and faith" in
the Lord God Almighty!
has delivered Paul from death!
Now ... we
must examine that word "deliver."
occurs three times in this short verse!
God has done
so ... is still doing so ... and will yet again do so! Do
what? Deliver or rescue Paul!
The first time
this word is used in the New Testament is in Matthew 6:13,
during the Lord's Prayer, where we are taught to ask "deliver
us from evil!"
11:26 Jesus is called The Deliverer!
"We have been
DELIVERED from the power of darkness" saved folks may truly
claim. That's according to Colossians 1:13.
We shall also
be DELIVERED from the wrath to come, the great tribulation!
So says 1st Thessalonians 1:10.
And even more
to the point, Paul asked his friends to pray that he would be
DELIVERED from unreasonable and wicked men who were seeking to
hinder the Gospel and harm its most powerful messenger!
2nd Thessalonians 3:2
And I found a
parallel passage in 2nd Timothy (3:11) where Paul is again
bragging about God's delivering power! "But thou hast
fully known my ... persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me
at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured:
but out of them all the Lord
recounting an Old Testament story, Simon Peter says that the
Lord DELIVERED Lot out of the wicked city of Sodom! See
2nd Peter 2:7.
The word "ruomai"
has a beautiful history too! In its earliest form it
pictured "a circle of stones around a grave!" To protect
the resting place of the dead! This concept reminds me of
the Lord's protective "hedge of thorns" in Hosea 2:6.
picture the word portrays is that of a "castle." That's a
fortress of protection!
history it meant "to ward off" that which was dangerous!
"delivering" us carries the additional idea of His "snatching"
us away from harm!
Think of the
And in all the
New Testament uses of "ruomai" the object of this deliverance is
always man or woman ... and the Rescuer is always God!
Thank God for
His delivering power!
He has cared
for me again and again!
How about you?
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
fellowship Paul has with the Corinthians in the last verse of
our paragraph. "Ye also helping
together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed
upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many
on our behalf." 2nd Corinthians 1:11
helping together by prayer for us," is quite a statement!
"helping together" is "sunupourgeo" and means "to work" ("ergo")
beneath ("hupo") and in union ("sun") with another!
Additionally, this is a present participle! Paul believes
these folks pray for him regularly!
that they are not the only ones praying for the godly Apostle.
He says, "Ye also helping together ...." Others
were involved in intercessory prayer as well. Remember
what Jesus said: "If two of you shall agree on earth as
touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for
them of my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 18:19
"For" us, is "huper"
and means "on one's behalf" or "for one's sake."
prayers are successful!
God hears ...
exactly what has been sought in prayer, has been given Paul!
"gift" (in Greek = "charisma") was Paul's safe deliverance from
the danger in Asia. Maybe it dealt with his health ... or
travel ... or preaching ... or something else. Anyway, God
granted their request!
prayed ... God responded!
comes an unexpected benefit of answered prayer. "Thanks
will be given by many!" Thanks ... to the Lord ... for the
answer of God in meeting Paul's great need!
It looks to me
like Paul automatically thought that all answered prayer would
generate a flood of thanks and appreciation and gratefulness to
God for His care and provision! It certainly should!
The verb "give
thanks" is "eucharisteo" and and is in the subjunctive mood,
suggesting that this is Paul's desire anyway, his goal, the
Paul not only
rejoices that he has been spared, and that the Corinthians have
interceded on his behalf, BUT ALSO that many will now worship
God by giving thanks for this outcome of grace!
Now many will
thank God for answers to prayer "for Paul!"
And in it all
... the godly yet suffering Paul just keeps on rejoicing!
more way Paul had learned to handle the pressures and trials of
life ... enlist the prayers of God's people ... and when God
answers ... rejoice in the avalanche of thanksgiving that is
voiced to God for His goodness!
Paul is one
thankful man! Dozens of times he mentions the concepts of
thankfulness or gratefulness or appreciation in his Epistles.
It even seems
that such "thanksgiving" is therapeutic for this dear Man of
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
AN UNUSUAL MAN! HE FOUND MOTIVATION TO SERVE JESUS IN SOME