You Can Do It!
“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:10
You can do hard things, loved one, whether you believe it or not. That was the apostle Paul’s message to the church at Corinth. Reading Paul’s letters in 1 and 2 Corinthians we find a great lesson on how we can grow through difficult trials in life by studying how the apostle Paul himself responded to situations that were beyond his control. In chapter 12 of 2 Corinthians the apostle Paul writes about an experience he had being caught up into Paradise that was so amazing he says that the way the Lord determined to keep him from boasting too much he was given a thorn in his flesh to keep him in check. We don’t know what type of thorn it was and that is good for you and me as each of us can relate on some level since we all have to deal with pain in some way, shape, or form at some point in our lives.
We do know the apostle Paul prayed three times that the Lord would take this thorn from his life and yet in the end the Lord chose not to remove it but to provide for the apostle something that would ensure he would make it through the pain and come out on the other side a changed person. Changed for good and changed for God and His glory. God gave the apostle Paul what He has promised to give you and me too, grace.
Grace doesn’t make things easy, only possible. God’s grace was sufficient for the apostle Paul then just as it is sufficient for me and you today. How did the apostle Paul maintain his joy while dealing with his thorn in the flesh and how do you and I best maintain our joy as we deal with the hard things each of us must face in our own lives? Keep in mind the definition of grace as you consider how the apostle Paul maintained his joy. If grace is best described as “receiving what we don’t deserve,” what did the apostle Paul receive that was sufficient to get him through his pain? Whatever it was, because there is no partiality with God we know what worked for Paul, will work for us!
The apostle could do hard things because he had received a revelation of Paradise. In other words, the apostle Paul saw the end from the beginning. Paul got to see how the story ends for those who put their hope in God, and knowing how the story would end one day made it possible for him to hold on now regardless of how painful the current situation might be. If Paul could do hard things, so can you loved one, so can you. Let me encourage you today. Open up your Bible and receive a fresh revelation from the very Word of God on how the story ends and when all things are made new. The more you read the more you will understand that God’s grace is sufficient for today because when you are weak you are strong!
“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.”
2 Corinthians 12:9
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