“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” (2 Corinthians 1:9). I found Richard Sibbes’ thoughts on this verse compelling, and an exciting challenge to faith: “God’s providence extends to the smallest things, to the sparrow and to the hairs of our heads. He governs every particular passage in our lives. This should teach us to look up to heaven for permission, power and perseverance in all the affairs of life. We should not do anything in which we cannot expect God’s guidance. We must be able to trust him for a blessing upon all that we do. If we could live by faith as we should, we would not worry about anything. God often allows his children to come to great extremities and desperate circumstances, even to the jaws of death itself. When it comes to pass that all natural and ordinary means fail, we must look to a more durable and constant help—God’s own good will and power. God is never nearer than in our extremities. He allows these to test us that he might exercise his grace in us.” Sibbes’ insight here displays spiritual genius. There is so much we can learn from Puritans of the caliber of Richard Sibbes!