Sunday, 13 September 2015
For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears. 2 Corinthians 7:5
As you read this letter from Paul, there is a journey that he refers to and then digresses from to insert key theology and personal notes. He noted this first in Chapter 1 –
“For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life.” 2 Corinthians 1:8
After this, he diverted until Chapter 2 –
“Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord, 13 I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I departed for Macedonia.” 2 Corinthians 2:12, 13
He now resumes this journey here with the words, “For indeed, when we came to Macedonia…” He has a story to tell, but he also has doctrine to relay and heartfelt notes of petition and encouragement to fill in as he does. There in Macedonia, he says that “our bodies had no rest, but were troubled on every side.” He and his traveling companions were constantly harassed at every turn. And because of this, he says that, “Outside were conflicts, inside were fears.”
It needs to be remembered that italicized words are inserted for our clarity, but these words of Paul are more emphatic – “outside conflicts, inside fears.” It is an explanation of “our bodies had no rest.” They faced trouble on every side and they were fraught with turmoil in the very fiber of their being, fearing their safety as they traveled. Such was the life of an apostle. But the message of Christ impelled them forward.
Life application: Paul explains the plight of an apostle in today’s verses. In the verses to come, he will show that the Lord was with them and directing them. Let us each be confident that the Lord is also with us in our own trials. He has a plan for us and he is working it out in a marvelous way, even though it may not seem like it at times. Be confident that it is.
Heavenly Father, life is filled with such difficult trials. It seems as if everything goes wrong at once and then more goes wrong on top of that. Troubles don’t come in manageable little divisions, but they come in heaps. And yet, I know that this is necessary to mold me. Help me in those times of stress to realize this. Instead of getting angry or upset, help me to see the barrage of grief as an opportunity to mature in who I am as a person and as a follower of You. Above all, thank You for the fantastic assurance that You are there with me in this. Amen.