Each one of us can probably relate to having faced something that absolutely overwhelmed us beyond our ability to endure. When your spirit is crushed and hope is lost, despair rises. Paul is describing some pretty dark times when hope was gone and so was the belief that they could survive. He says, "we expected to die." It would have been easy, perhaps even understandable to pull out the white flag and give up. They could have had a huge pity party and waited to die. But they didn't!
Scripture says, they stopped relying on themselves. Paul stopped thinking about himself and his ability and began thinking about God and what God could do. He realized that when you put your trust in someone, they had better be trust-worthy. As he and the others relied upon God, confidence came back and with that confidence came hope of being rescued. God did his part and answered all of their prayers and brought them to safety.
So today, if you are facing something that seems unbearable and your hope is fading, stop thinking about the trouble and start praising the solution...your solution is the Lord! Stop relying on your ability and power and begin to rely upon the strength and might of the Lord. Your confidence will grow as you place your trust in the only One who is absolutely reliable. He rescued Paul time and time again and he will rescue you too. Then many people will give thanks to God!