2 Corinthians 12:8-9 “Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9But he said to me,”My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
This past Sunday, I was able to read Paul’s blog. Okay, yes, I know that Paul lived in the first century AD and there were no such things as computers and blogs, or even iPhone’s (gasp!). But when I open up 2 Corinthians 12, I feel like I am opening up his personal old, torn up, dusty journal.
Paul struggled with something, and it was something extremely painful. He scribbles down that God gave him a “thorn in the flesh”. We have no idea what that “thorn” was because Paul keeps that detail to himself. Maybe Paul battled a physical sickness. Perhaps Paul’s wife left him after he became a Christian. But, we know that whether it was emotional or physical, it caused Paul deep pain.
And here we see Paul, on his knees, begging God to take this struggle away from him. How many times have you been there? I know I have; where God has allowed something in my life that was so painful and I pleaded with God for him to remove it. We’ve all been there.
“But he said to him.” In the Greek it literally translates as if God was saying,“Paul, this is my final word.” After three times of begging for relief from God, God simply tells Paul that enough is enough. Paul was going to have to endure through the struggle. And the crazy part is – He never gives Paul an explanation for WHY he has to struggle. Can you relate to this? Because I know I can.
I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have sat down with God in my mind to have the “Why” conversation. And I picture him saying various things:
“Jen, you had to go through the pain of divorce so that you would love and appreciate your future husband in a far greater way.”
“Jen, you had to endure this betrayal and divorce so you would have greater compassion for hurting people.”
“Jen, you had to go through this so we could be close.”
While all of these things are true, God didn’t ever actually tell me WHY I went through what I did. And chances are, He hasn’t told you why you lost your job; why your father died; why you miscarried your baby; why you battle depression.
BUT, while He doesn’t answer our “why” questions, He gives us something even better. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” It’s simple, but it’s true. His grace is enough. His kindness and love is enough to get us through the most severe trail. If He brought you to it, He’ll bring you through it. And don’t ever forget, that God always builds an audience every time you suffer and they are watching you. Suffer well.
In case I haven’t said it on my blog before, I want to be sure to say it now… despite every single tear that was shed, the struggle I faced this past year is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I would not take it back for an onslaught of reasons. God is so, so good.
I had an incredible weekend and I am so excited for my future 🙂
This post came from Sunday’s message preached by @Jerry_Johnston
Watch it here –> www.ffc.org
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Very well said Jen-a-Lee Nicole 😉 I agree with your post and can greatly appreciate it. The past year or two I have experienced difficulties and often wondered “WHY” I had to go through certain things!
I have been through phases of clinging closer to God than ever before through it but, on the other hand, unfortunately have also found myself responding in a negative manner in the past, drifting in rebellion due to the pain but thankfully, his loving arms accepted me back with grace! Paul is such an awesome illustration of how despite our circumstances, He is still in control and will carry us through if we persevere with patience through our sufferings.
And to add to your blog, I was reading last night about Joseph, and how he went through sooo incredibly much yet despite this fact, he kept his faith strong through the many years of trials and hardships.
I’m sure he still wondered why!? … “why are things happening when I’m just serving God!?” God probably seemed silent through a lot of it but still, he persevered despite his circumstances. In the end, God blessed Him and used him greatly!
He knew God was in control, but it still hurt. I have learned that sometimes God is quiet, he is silent… He lets us endure great hardships, and hurt, but ALWAYS for a greater purpose through it all. We never know who we now can minister to because of what Gods let us go through. He often increases the empathy in our hearts toward people suffering with the same pains we individually as believers have endured.
We don’t have the answers to why things happen in our life. Sometimes, God is silent but as you stated quite well, there is a reason for it! It’s how we respond to the circumstances that defines our character and how we respond to the hardships that determines how Gods full plan and potential for our lives will develop.
The degree to which things actually work out for our best interest is determined strictly by our response. As we trust God throughout adversity, when all is said and done, we will sincerely believe it was all worth it. ( like you have already declared!)
Just because God is silent, doesn’t mean He isn’t moving.
When we hurt, God hurts. Regardless of what He may be in the process of accomplishing, regardless of how noble His purpose may be, He is in touch with what you are feeling!
Sweet page Jenilee Nicole- Get going on some books kid! Better have one published by 2013 or I’m coming out to KS to find you!