Not Fun, Not Fun At Alll
Read 2 Corinthians Chapter 1
2Co 1:8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. 9 Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us….
We really do not know what Christianity is all about. For much of Christendom today, it has been portrayed as a quick fix to all of life’s problems. As a result, there are many disappointed, let-down men and women today who wonder where God is and why He hasn’t magically made their problems disappear. Paul had a most difficult life. Over and over he suffered greatly, in many different ways, none the least of which was his battle against his own sinfulness. In this particular passage, he was likely describing the hardships endured through persecutions. But his life included many other types of difficulties. Through them all he remained faithful to the cause of Christ.
As we think of our trials and tribulations that are a natural part of battling same-sex attractions, we will most assuredly go through hard times. We should not expect God to suddenly bestow upon us a life of ease and comfort, in which we face no troubles. Look at how Paul described his life’s struggles.
Under great pressure – In our present situation, the opportunity to fall to our SSA temptations is enormous. When I was growing up, the opportunities available were extremely limited. Not so today. Even where I live, which is inhabited by a large conservative Christian population, opportunities abound. Today we are under great pressure, because temptation and opportunity abound.
Far beyond our ability to endure – I believe we can all attest that we have faced times when we believed we were beyond our ability to endure. I know I surely have. We have believed that the road which is our destiny is impossible to travel and survive.
We despaired even of life – Again, we’ve all been there. As we reached the end of our rope, we have wished that God would just take us home and put an end to this struggle. That kind of feeling has caused many to consider suicide.
We felt the sentence of death – Truly, the burden of same-sex attractions can feel like the sentence of death. It is an extremely difficult battle, like men sitting on death row awaiting the executioner to come for us. Our enemy loves to make us believe that we are battling out temptations in vain. Such is the fate of every SSA man and woman at times.
Paul painted a dire picture of his life, his situation and his spiritual and physical battles. But he did not leave his readers without hope. Verse 9 gives us a good reason why such things are allowed to happen to believers. They serve a good purpose. They happen so that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God. It has been proven over and over throughout history – when the Christian community begins to slip into a life which has few spiritual battles, they move away from God. When that happens, the next generation lives further away from God than their parents, and the progression away from God continues unabated.
But then, when the life of ease is suddenly interrupted, mankind comes back to God. They realize that they cannot survive life without Christ. What group of believers is there who know better than the SSA community, that they need the Lord? There may be some, but you and I know that we could not live without Christ. We realize that SSA is much too difficult for us to handle alone. Therefore, we seek God. I would never have sought God with the same intensity and sincerity had I not been dealing with same-sex attractions. I really believe my SSA happened so that I might seek Him at all costs.
Verse 10 has a word of comfort for all of us. Our Savior has delivered us from our deadly peril. He didn’t deliver us from the temptation, but He has delivered us from our peril. And just as Paul said, “He will continue to deliver us.”
Prayer: Father, such trial and tribulation we have endured. We have despaired as did Paul, but You have continued to guide us and show us the way to eternal life. It is You who have given us the message that homosexual sins must be battled. It is You who have brought us this far, and You will continue to carry us all the way to the finish line. THANK YOU!!