"At that time we were completely overwhelmed, the burden was more than we could bear, in fact we told ourselves that this was the end. Yet we believe now that we had this experience of coming to the end of our tether that we might learn to trust, not in ourselves, but in God who can raise the dead." (2 Corinthians 1:8b-9 PH)
When the pursuit of your dream deteriorates from difficult to impossible, when the situation looks hopeless — congratulations! You're in good company.
Even Paul went through dead ends: "At that time we were completely overwhelmed, the burden was more than we could bear, in fact we told ourselves that this was the end. Yet we believe now that we had this experience of coming to the end of our tether that we might learn to trust, not in ourselves, but in God who can raise the dead" (2 Corinthians 1:8-9 PH).
If God can raise dead people physically, he can raise people who are dead emotionally. He can raise a dead marriage. He can resurrect a dead career. He can resurrect you from a health problem. If God can raise the dead, he can do anything.
In Abraham’s situation, God said, "I want you to become the father of a nation," but then Abraham had to wait until he was 99 years old before he had his first child. The Bible shows Abraham"s situation going from difficult to impossible. He looks at his body and says, "No way!" Then he looks at his wife and says, "Double no way!"
But Sarah got pregnant, and they laughed about it. When the baby was born, they named him Isaac, which means "laughter."
God often lets problems become impossibilities. The disciples planned to follow Jesus. They thought he was the Messiah, but then the next thing they know Jesus is hanging on the cross, dying. Was this a dead end for the disciples? For three days it seemed that way, but then Jesus walked out of the tomb.
When you face a dead end, you may start asking, "What’s going on, God? Did I miss your will? Your plan? Have I missed your vision?" Keep in mind that dead ends are part of God’s plan for you.
What’s the best response to a dead end? "He has delivered us from such a terrible death, and He will deliver us. We have put our hope in Him that He will deliver us again" (2 Corinthians 1:10 HCSB).
Talk About It
- Have you ever missed seeing God's vision because you thought he had abandoned you (when your problem was seemingly impossible)?
- Ask God to help build your trust in him and his promise of deliverance.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.