The Sentence of Death

By: Carole L. Haines 

“We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On Him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us.” 
(2 Corinthians 3:8b-10) 

I’ve been going through a time lately that has just been so difficult, wave after wave of difficulties has rolled over our little family. Now I say little because two of our children are married and off on their own now and the third is just about to be, so it’s just my husband and I now, with our cats and dog of course. As the above Scripture says, we are under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure. But we have been through these valleys many times before. We have learned that God has always brought us through. 

One particular Valley was so difficult that I remember just falling to the ground in our living room, and crying out to God,  

“Lord, this is killing me, just killing me!”  

His response was almost immediate and gently whispered. “Yes, because there are some things in you that still need to die.” 

Now I don’t hear God audibly. But I have learned to discern My Good Shepherd’s voice, as it says in John 10. 

When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” (John 10:4-5) 

I have learned how to follow his voice over our long journey together. But lately, the whisper is fainter, not because He has moved, but because I have allowed discouragement to creep into my heart and lure me further from Him. It’s as if His voice is coming from a mountain top, like an echo, instead of a whisper directly into my heart, as I usually hear it. Time for me to go away to a mountaintop alone with God, as Jesus so often did. Let’s look at those verses from 2 Corinthians again. 

“We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On Him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us.” 
(2 Corinthians 3:8b-10) 

Have you ever felt that what you were going through was going to kill you? Have you, as Paul states, “felt you had received the sentence of death?” God loves us too much to leave us as we are, in our rebellions, our immaturity, our selfishness. The process of growing to maturity is long, arduous and often painful. God disciplines those He loves. He grows us up, like a good parent disciplines his/her child. (Hebrews 12:5-11) The sentence of death to all those things that hold us back from walking closer to God, that is His desire. He knows how blessed we are when we walk with Him closely. It is life’s greatest gift. But the journey is arduous and long. Let me leave you with one of my favorite verses to ponder. 

 Whom have I in heaven but You? 
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. 
 My flesh and my heart may fail, 
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 
 For, behold, those who are far from You will perish; 
You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You. 
 But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; 
I have made the Lord God my refuge, 
That I may tell of all Your works. (Psalm 73:25-28) 

Published by eloracseniah@aol.com

May God's Truth prevail and Love triumph, where we have failed. Amen

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