… but that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God … — 2 Corinthians 1:9
There are times when we cannot understand our lives. Challenges arise and we feel like Paul — as though we have received a death sentence.
Yet, like Paul, when we say that we are beyond our strength and we despair of life itself, we can say these things have happened to keep us from relying on ourselves and instead on God.
For we do not want you to be unaware, 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. (2 Corinthians 1:8-11)