Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How to Handle an Adjustment

Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me--to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Paul is dealing with an affliction in his body that causes him to make an adjustment in his life and ministry.  As we seek to understand the mystery of human suffering we must know that it will not be solved completely in this life.  Sometimes we suffer simply because we are human. Our bodies change as we grow older, and we are susceptible to the normal problems of life.  The same body that can bring us pleasure can also bring us pain.  The same family members and friends that delight us can also break our hearts.  All of this is part of the human comedy called life and the only way to escape it is to be less than human. 

Sometimes we suffer because we are foolish and disobedient to the Lord.  Our own rebellion may afflict us, or the Lord may see fit to chasten us in his love.  Suffering also can be used as a tool God uses to build Godly character.  Certainly Paul was a man of rich Christian character because he permitted God to mold him in the painful experiences of his life.  If the truth be told for many of us it is our painful experiences that have shaped us into what we are today.  Some things we need to let go of and some we need to hold onto, to propel us to the next level in our lives.  One writer said it like this; "As you walk along the shore of the ocean you will notice the rocks are sharp in the quiet coves, but polished in those places where the waves have beat against them."  What we must understand is that God uses the waves and the billows of life to polish us if we let him. 

For Paul, this was a physical affliction of some kind that brought pain and distress.  It is certain that God will allow thorns in our lives to test our faith.  However we must make the adjustments and keep trusting God.  The affliction sometimes is sent for God to get the glory.  We as people of God must make the necessary adjustments. 

When God is Taking Us to the Next Level
Ask any coach who has had a team dealt a blow in the first half that they were not ready for and he will tell you that at halftime he has to make adjustments to stay in the game or have a chance to win.  Many a coach has spoken of a time when a team “found itself” in overcoming a bad first half and turning the game around in the second half to reach new levels of success in the future. 

Paul says his confidence came when he heard God say; "My Grace is sufficient for thee for my strength is made perfect in weakness."  Paul doesn't know if his pain is temporary or permanent, but what he has to do is develop confidence in God's promise that His grace will help him deal with his adjustment in his life.  I want you to know that whatever you are having to deal with right now, God's grace is sufficient!  Make the adjustment and give him the praise!  Tell yourself, I will praise you God and make the necessary adjustment even though I'm dealing with this thorn in my flesh!

Scripture to Claim:
And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:4

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