God Is More than Enough to Deliver

His Power Is Past, Present and Future
Gary Wilkerson

You’ve heard it said that God is more than enough to deliver us from our difficulties. He doesn’t lack power or authority and has more than enough wisdom, mercy and grace for our needs. God simply has no insufficiency. So if he is more than enough to deliver us, do we believe he can deliver the lukewarm church? Can he deliver our troubled nation?

Paul addressed God’s vast sufficiency when he was in urgent need. “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” (2 Corinthians 1:8-10, ESV, my emphases). 

Note the different verb tenses Paul uses to describe God’s deliverance: He delivered and he will deliver. By using the future tense, Paul may have implied his own present need. He added, “On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again” (2 Corinthians 1:10). Paul’s bottom line was “We can count on the Lord because he has faithfully delivered us.”

If you’ve had troubles with children, finances or health, you know that life problems often arise more than once.

Paul seemed to say, “Once again I’m in a dilemma that burdens me beyond my strength.” He had survived raging storms at sea, clinging to life amid the waves. Imagine facing death yet being able to say, “…that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead”  (2 Corinthians 1:9). 

What an astounding perspective, yet Paul took it even further. “…but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities” (2 Corinthians 6:4). Paul was saying, in essence, “If there is any reward in this life of ministry, it is my endurance of beatings, imprisonment and hunger. Enduring these is my medal and trophy.” 

Paul’s harsh experiences built in him the hope of God’s deliverance. Even so, his statement contained both good news and bad news. While he was excited over God’s faithfulness, Paul knew he would face terrible things again. 

No one looks forward to suffering, and Paul’s message is a topic most preachers won’t go near. That’s why so many Christians aren’t prepared when trials come. After so many hardships, are we tempted to despair that there is no end to our trials? Many give up at the first sign of trouble, enraged that God hasn’t answered their prayers. 

Meanwhile, faithful Christians wonder, “Why does God defer our deliverance instead of responding? He is all-powerful, so why doesn’t he solve our troubles instantly? If we are delivered, why do we have to face the same circumstances so often again?” 

Paul explains clearly God’s purpose in this. “But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:9). Paul understood that the Lord in his loving sovereignty had a purpose in Paul’s difficulties: to shift his reliance onto a God who has power to raise the dead and thus cause his faith to flourish. 

I believe the key to understanding these things is found in the phrase “God who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:9). We are reliant on a God whose powers go beyond all other powers in existence, including that of death. We are his, and when he allows us to be confronted by a trial, we must know that no power can triumph over his purposes for us.

A woman sought Jesus for healing after years of suffering beyond her means to find a remedy.

A woman with a continuous issue of blood spent everything she had to find a cure but was never healed. What she needed was beyond her own resources. When Jesus came along, she recognized what Paul knew about the Lord’s power to deliver. The same was true of Lazarus’s sisters, Martha and Mary. Their brother died, and none of their resources could bring him back. Their only hope was in a God who had power to raise the dead. 

What crisis do you face right now? What problem leaves you tossing and turning at night beyond your ability to solve, causing you to fear what the future holds? If you follow Jesus, ultimately every remedy you need rests on the power of God. He resurrects dead marriages to life. He brings addicted runaways safely home. He breathes faith into lifeless hearts. He also raises the coldest, dead churches back to life.

I believe the Lord wants to resurrect America from its godless descent. This nation is plagued by spiritual bankruptcy, sexual perversity, moral depravity, and family insecurity. We are fueled as well by a vicious animosity toward one another, and the church is not immune. I grieve over an immature church that is largely illiterate about God’s Word and whose testimony is inconsistent and powerless. Despite all this, the Bible shows us awesome hope. 

The first-century church was birthed into a culture utterly violent, immoral, and perverse. Roman leaders ruled with a brutality beyond anything we can comprehend. Through it all, Christ’s church remained not just hopeful but vibrantly alive, active in service and thriving in its witness. 

I believe the church’s condition today is close to that of Eli’s day. Eli was a judge in Israel and served as priest in the tabernacle at Shiloh. His sons Hophni and Phineas were supposed to assist him, but they behaved wickedly, seducing the young women who served in the temple. When there’s wickedness in the pulpit, what hope is there in the land? How can a perverse nation be delivered when its spiritual leaders are corrupt? 

I see a parallel in today’s church. Like Israel, we claim to have the presence of God, but our worship is mixed with flesh-driven elements. A large part of the church knows God only through emotional movements and professionally produced services with smoke machines, flashing lights and trendy worship music. In themselves, none of these things represents God’s holy presence. 

I liken such scenarios to the children of Israel who danced at the foot of a golden calf they created. Those Israelites didn’t think they were worshiping an idol; they assumed they were in God’s presence. In reality, their worship was mixed with sin, and therefore the people’s condition was one of continual defeat. I see much of the church today mired in the same condition. 

We’re generally taught to view Eli negatively because he did nothing to stop his sons’ evil behavior. However, Eli did one thing right. The Ark of the Covenant represented God’s presence, and when the enemy Philistines captured it, Eli grieved that the Spirit of the Lord was removed from Israel. He trembled over the fate of the nation. 

We need priestly men and women today who, like Eli, tremble in prayer over the fate of the nation. We desperately need God to restore his holiness in America. It’s easy to think that the national condition is hopeless and that judgment has come. As I read scripture, though, I am filled with hope. When Paul said that God has delivered us, is delivering us and will deliver us, he referred to a power that changes more than individuals; God also transforms churches and nations. 

It happened in Eli’s day. While this man grieved, God was raising up a holy voice in young Samuel. Eventually, Israel experienced revival under Samuel’s ministry, and it can happen in our land too. A spiritual awakening in the United States can reverse the trajectory of immorality, perversity, and hatred and restore holiness. 

I sense the Lord is about to sweep through his church and transform pulpits, sending pastors to their knees, crying, “I’ve been so foolish.” I already see young pastors saying, “Enough of this showtime at church. It’s time for God’s people to hear a holy, sober, anointed word from the Lord.” Once God moves to deliver, his work will be great. That work begins in his people. 

The hardest work of deliverance for God to perform is not in nations or churches but in us.

Every Christian has to begin by confessing, “I am the problem.” Pastors have to admit, “I don’t have the anointing needed to bring forth God’s message.” People in the pew have to realize, “If the Spirit were to speak to me right now, I don’t know if I would hear him. I need God’s touch on my life.” This is how deliverance begins, and it is powerful and thorough. 

We also have to face that our nation is corrupt; that is reality. Cable channels and talk radio would have us blame this or that politician, but the work of deliverance has to begin within God’s people, in repentance, faith, and hope. “On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again” (2 Corinthians 1:10). 

When I think of my past problems, issues from which I never thought I’d be free, God delivered me. His delivering work continues in me to this day, and he’ll faithfully deliver me again. The work he does in each of us is for a lifetime and can change a church and a nation as powerfully as he changes one human heart. No circumstance is beyond his power to deliver. 

As you taste your deliverance, pray for others and for Christ’s church and this nation. “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 1:11). Your flourishing hope and faith are the fruit of your deliverance. May God bring it to pass in you. Amen.