Tag Archives: Paul

…in weakness.

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. II Corinthians 12:9 NKJV

Paul’s circumstance is unclear, other than that he had what he called “a thorn in the flesh”.

7 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.
II Corinthians 12:7 NKJV

He clearly attributes this problem as being from Satan and used to buffet him, but he adds in that it was used for his benefit.

Understandably, he prays.

8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
II Corinthians 12:8 NKJV

After pleading three times, the Lord’s answer:

…“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9a

God didn’t remove the thorn, at least Paul doesn’t tell us it went away.

Rather, God showed Paul (and us) that He can and will use anything in our lives.

Because we are weak, broken, sinful creatures who desperately need God to heal us, restore us, and redeem us.

No two life stories are identical, but God’s grace, truth, goodness, love, strength, and salvage are able to redeem, restore, and renew any.

No matter the weakness one is experiencing, we do not have to bear it alone, nor does God want us to.

He wants us to lean on Him and trust Him throughout.

When we do, our lives are transformed.

We can go from pleading with God to remove the “thorn” to praising Him for how He has used it.

10 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.
II Corinthians 12:10 NKJV

It is not easy, but it is good.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the example of Paul, who was honest about his “thorn in the flesh” and how You spoke so clearly and have given us this wonderful encouragement. Lord, we rarely can see how You are working through the pain in the midst of it, but I thank You that You are. I thank You for how You have used the difficult and painful circumstances of my life. Thank You that You give us so much to lean on. Thank You for Your grace and Your strength which is perfected in our weakness. Thank You for Your faithfulness and love. Lord, thank You that You understand suffering far better than we do. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

A letter

My dear friend,

I wanted to write to you and let you know what God has been teaching me.

I’m also praying for you, as I don’t know all you are going through, but Jesus does.

Uncertain times can bring fear and doubt, but for those of us who know Jesus, it is a place of surrender.

Which is where we should live as believers.

In fact, surrender is a pleasure, because it frees us of thinking we are in charge or that we have to do or must be whatever.

With total surrender we get to wait upon the Lord in peace.

To walk forward in Him and not worry.

It’s what Paul said:

Philippians 4:11-14 NKJV — Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Paul had learned the practice of daily surrender and he knew there was nothing that he could not endure, because Christ was his Master and through him he could walk whether hungry or full.

Too often, especially in our culture, we think we “have to do…”.

Yet, it is only true if we were given the task by God.

Him and His Word is what we must obey and listen to, not our flesh, not our family, not our neighbors.

At least not any of those before we listen to God and His Word. (We should always check what we “heard” to make sure it aligns with scripture. God doesn’t contradict Himself.)

We must have a teachable spirit, because often God will guide and direct us through the voices of others, but that’s why our relationship with the Lord and studying His word must come first.

Only with a heart completely surrendered before God can we truly hear those around us.

Life was not given for us to live unto our selfish desires.

Nor to achieve our own made-up priorities.

Life was given as a gift, but we should give it back.

Sin has marred the heart so much that we can never find true life without first giving ourselves to God completely, without even a piece left out.

True surrender means Job:

Job 1:21 NKJV — And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.”

This is surrender.

Job understood all that had been trusted to his care was not his and could be removed at any time.

His life was not his position, family, experience, nor his stuff.

His life was God’s and he would praise him no matter the circumstances.

That is where true joy is.

In finding that one can truly praise God no matter what is occurring.

That I can trust Him no matter the obstacle or the emotion.

There is nothing to despair, because my Savior lives!

There’s nothing I need to prove to others, because my Savior lives!

What does man think of me? It doesn’t matter.

My Savior lives!

What blessed joy!

What grand design!

How great is our God!

May God bless and keep you my friend,

Love, Hope

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your love! Thank You for salvation! How grateful I am to You for Your gift of friendship to me. I’m so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family who love me as they do. Lord, please lift up my friend and bring them to a place of rest and trust in You. Heal their heart of past hurts and restore them to faith in You. Lord, let them see themselves and others as You do. Let them walk with understanding and truth. Lord, please open the scriptures to them, that they might find the Way. Let their hearts find peace in surrender. Let them put all their trust in You. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.