Trouble in Asia
2 Cor. 1:8-11
After telling the truth about comfort, Paul now tells about the trouble and difficulties he experienced
in Asia. Life is full of inconsistencies and as you have experienced also, after having some good times,
bad times happens and sometimes we are caught unaware. Whether you accept it or not, it is the
routine and reality of life. But whatever difficulties we are facing, whether it’s life or death situation,
we can always be sure of God’s deliverance.
Illustration 1: He Brought Me Here
First, He brought me here, it is by His will I am in this strait place: in that fact I will rest. Next, He will
keep me here in His love, and give me grace to behave as His child. Then, He will make the trial a
blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to
bestow. Last, In His good time He can bring me out again—how and when He knows.
Let me say I am here, (1) By God’s appointment, (2) In His keeping, (3) Under His training, (4) For His
Andrew Murray, quoted in Though the Mountains Shake, by Amy Carmichael, p. 12
I. The Place (2 Cor. 1:8)
A. Asia – In the Bible Asia refers to one of the chief Roman provinces, today referred to
as Asia Minor. Its capital was Ephesus, and it included Bithynia, Galatia, Pisidia, Lycia,
and Macedonia (Acts 19:10-26; 20:4-18; 1 Cor. 16:19; 2 Tim. 1:15; Rev. 1:1-3).
B. Asia is used to denote Proconsular Asia, a Roman province which embraced the
western parts of Asia Minor, and of which Ephesus was the capital, in Acts 2:9; Acts
6:9; Acts 16:6; Acts 19:10, 22; Acts 20:4, 16, 18, and probably Asia Minor in Acts 19:26,
27; Acts 21:27; Acts 24:18; Acts 27:2. Proconsular Asia contained the seven churches
of the Apocalypse (Rev 1:11). The “chiefs of Asia” (Acts 19:31) were certain wealthy
citizens who were annually elected to preside over the games and religious festivals
of the several cities to which they belonged. Some of these “Asiarchs” were Paul’s
friends. (Easton’s Bible Dictionary)
II. The Danger (2 Cor. 1:8b)
A. We are not so sure what kind of danger or trouble it is. It may be one of the following:
1. The riot caused by Demetrius in Acts 19:23-41
2. “Fighting wild beasts at Ephesus” of 1 Cor. 15:32
3. An imprisonment, possibly with a death sentence (2 Cor. 1: 9-10)
4. Some type of physical illness
B. Whatever it was, it was a life-or-death experience which Paul thinks he will not
survive. It was very discouraging for Paul because he thinks it’s the end of his ministry
not only his life. (2 Cor.1:8-10). The Corinthian believers knows about it and Paul
does not feel the need to tell what it is. The Corinthians does not realize also the
severity of it
III. The “Sentence of Death” (2 Cor. 1:9)
A. Paul is not referring to a judicial a decree, but to a personal sense of his coming death.
He is sure that he is going to die for the gospel.
B. “we would not trust in ourselves”. This made him and his companions to put
themselves totally on God’s help, mercy and deliverance.
C. We can clearly see here that suffering helps believers trust more fully and
completely in God, particularly to Christ!
D. Paul was beyond help from man. “This dreadful trial was sent to him in order to give
him a very important spiritual lesson.” The “comfort” Paul learned is that after death.
there is life. God is the God of resurrection. Paul was comforted also that the sentence
of death was not carried out.
IV. The deliverance of God (2 Cor. 1:10).
A. Paul saw God’s hand in his deliverance. God does not always deliver us immediately.
He deals with us in many unique ways we sometimes cannot understand. James was
beheaded, yet Peter was delivered from prison (Acts 12). Both were delivered, but in
different ways. Sometimes God delivers us from our trials, and at other times He
delivers us in our trials.
B. In everything whether the outcome will look good to us or bad, God’s will be done
and we can be sure that “all things will work together for good”.
Illustration 2: Flying Lesson
Some years ago, when I was learning to fly, my instructor told me to put the plane into a steep and
extended dive. I was totally unprepared for what was about to happen. After a brief time, the engine
stalled, and the plane began to plunge out-of-control. It soon became evident that the instructor was
not going to help me at all. After a few seconds, which seemed like eternity, my mind began to function
again. I quickly corrected the situation. Immediately I turned to the instructor and began to vent my
fearful frustrations on him.
He very calmly said to me, “There is no position you can get this airplane into that I cannot get you
out of. If you want to learn to fly, go up there and do it again.” At that moment God seemed to be
saying to me, “Remember this. As you serve Me, there is no situation you can get yourself into that I
cannot get you out of. If you trust me, you will be all right.” That lesson has been proven true in my
ministry many times over the years.
James Brown, Evangeline Baptist Church, Wildsville, LA, in Discoveries, Fall, 1991, Vol. 2, No. 4
V. The help of Prayer (2 Cor. 1:11)
A. God’s deliverance was in response to Paul’s faith, as well as to the faith of praying
people in Corinth (2 Cor 1:11). “This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and
saved him out of all his troubles” (Ps. 34:6).
B. The power of prayer cannot be underestimated. Through prayers, wonderful things
Illustration 3: D. L. Moody
In his new biography of evangelist D. L. Moody, author Lyle Dorsett relates the following story of God’s
It was the spring of 1862 and the Civil War had taken its toll on troops and citizens alike. Evangelist D.
L. Moody was frequently seen on the battlefields, ministering to soldiers on the frontlines. During one
instance, late at night after a weary day at war, the party of Christian workers was walking among the
body-strewn fields searching for survivors.
The hundreds of men they came upon were wounded and famished, and a search of the area produced
little nourishment for the weary men. Desperate, the small band of workers gathered together asking
God to provide the needed supplies. “Later,” tells Dorsett, “some workers admitted that they were
doubtful God would respond.”
As the first gleam of morning light rose above the battlefield, a wagon appeared on the horizon. As it
approached the workers, they realized it was a large farm wagon piled high with loaves of bread. God
had provided: manna from heaven!
The driver approached the men and told the following story: “When I went to bed last night, I knew
the army was gone and I could not sleep for thinking of the poor fellows who were wounded and
would have to stay behind. Something seemed to whisper in my ear, ‘What will those poor fellows do
for something to eat?” I could not get rid of this voice.”
That faithful servant of God could not sleep, so he woke his wife and she began baking as much bread
as possible. Meanwhile, he hitched up his wagon and called on his neighbor to gather additional food.
Said the man: “[I felt} just as if I was being sent by our Lord Himself.”
Joseph M. Stowell, “Great is His Faithfulness!” Today in the Word, November, 1998, pp. 2-
As long as we are living here on earth, there will always be trouble. It doesn’t matter
whether you are faithful or not, it will come and you will experience it. Rest assured that
Christ is always there to deliver. Will you put your trust in Him? You must, it’s the best
decision and choice in your whole life.