"For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves,
but in God who raises the dead; "
2 Corinthians 3:18
Paul writes of the trials he and his partners in the gospel endured in Asia. Things were so bad that they were "burdened excessively, beyond [their] strength." Imagine being so downtrodden that you would even despair of life. In other words, you wished you could just die. Perhaps you are at that place right now. Things are so bad that you would rather go home to the Lord than stay here. But consider what Paul goes on to write to the Corinthians, that the despair they felt brought them to a place where they would have to trust in God and not trust in themselves. For only God can raise us out of the depths of despair -- take us out of a death sentence and restore our spiritual and emotional life. But even more, if we do suffer to the point of death, we are assured that death has no hold on us. We will rise again by the power of God. It is He who raises the dead. "Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:10)