2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 ” 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. 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.”
Was Paul out of his mind when he used the words “most gladly” and “take pleasure” in describing his list of very unpleasant situations like infirmities, reproaches, needs, persecutions, distresses? Absolutely NOT! Rather he was giving us a wonderful lesson on what true reliance on the Lord means. You might say, “well Paul could say that, but I am different”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Today, we as God’s blood bought adopted children NEED to realize that if we suffer these things “for Christ’s sake”, He strengthens and the grace of God will show itself to be stronger than any and all the pains (physical, psychological), sadness, losses, persecutions and distressful times we may experience.
How can I say that? For three simple reasons: 1) God’s Word says it 2) I believe God’s Word 3) My personal experience with my Father and Lord Jesus
2 Timothy 3: 12-14; “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived . But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;” (KJV)
“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it” (ESV)
There are so many places in Scripture we see people of God suffer joyfully. I honestly can’t say that I jump up and down with joy when I get out of bed everyday… because I know (and feel) the excruciating, chronic pain is still with me; plus what other body part is going out today. But I can say— I stop for a moment, give all of my day to Him and grab my walker and go. I could go on about other issues besides my health, but I won’t because it’s ALL in HIS ALMIGHTY hands… for whatever good HE sees fit— not what I like or want. In many of today’s churches, there are far too many that believe once they’ve asked Christ to be their Savior… all their troubles will be over. Well, I’m here to tell you that if you are hearing that from your pulpit; you better get a copy of the Word and read for yourself. (I guess I should have titled this “No Rose Garden Here Part 2.)
I would like to share a little story. My 8-year-old granddaughter said it simply! On the way to daycare a few days ago, my granddaughter said “Ya know mommy I have 2 daddies!” To that my daughter just paused and said “I know” (thinking of her bio dad and step-dad). My granddaughter asked “You want to know who they are mommy?” “Okay, sure… ” my daughter replied. My granddaughter said ” Well my number 1 Daddy is God!”
She knows Jesus as Savior and God as her Daddy. We all know a daddy takes care of us, protects us and more. May all of us have that faith Jesus spoke of when He said “… Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3
May you grow everyday in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and have an intimate relationship with the Father through prayer and His Word. ♥ Streim
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