Monday, September 21, 2009

Sufficient Grace

II Cor.12:7-9: “And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

When Paul wrote these words he had already lived a hard life. He was God’s voice and the tip of the sword for propelling the gospel to the world. Paul was a powerful servant of God and performed many miracles in the name of Jesus. He cast out devils and preached boldly for the cause of Christ. Paul lived a life of pain and persecution. Paul the apostle was beaten many times, stoned, incarcerated, and shipwrecked. If anyone was due for a favor from God, it was Paul, right? Some preachers tell us that God will always heal you and protect you from harm and not let any bad befall those who have enough faith. Paul wrote most of the books of the New Testament and was an apostle. Surly he had faith to receive God’s healing, right? That was not God’s plan. Jesus told Paul that, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." The scripture implies that Paul was better off when he did not get his way. He asked God to heal him and take away the “thorn in his flesh” and yet God did not.

According to Paul this “thorn” was allowed to remain so to not cause Paul to become proud or arrogant. Paul used that infirmity, to draw strength from it. God allowed a certain amount of pain and frustration in the life of Paul to mold him to be the man he wanted him to be. If there were anyone in the life of the church that would be deserving of relief from a discomfort, it would be the Apostle Paul. However, God said, “My grace is sufficient for you" This is an answer for us today when God allows certain things to affect us. We may not understand all the issues we face, but we do know that God has a perfect plan for us.

Application – God is loving and caring and provides for us in ways we cannot always understand.

Challenge – Do get bogged down on situations that you cannot control. Trust in His loving arms and focus on Him rather then on your circumstances.

Tomorrows Readings:
Old Testament: Song of Solomon 1-3 New Testament II Cor. 12

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