Friday, October 7, 2016

God's Timing

 Submitted by Donnie O’Fallon
Adversity and pain in life teach us about God and how He works.  Because life does hurt, at times a lot, we should learn how to handle these hurts. This devotional message is meant to show us how we can take these hurts to Jesus. 
None of us are exempt from life's hurts. Paul, perhaps the great Christian who ever lived, knew something of these "life hurts". In 2 Corinthians 12: 7- 10, we read of Paul's, "thorn in the flesh". We don't know what it was, but three times he asked God to remove itIn verse 9 we read what God says to Paul: "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.Paul responded by saying to God, "then I will boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me ... For when I'm weak, then, I am made strong."

We Are All People of Weakness!
Perhaps your greatest questions to God are, Why me, why now, or why to my family?" The reality is, we are all people of weakness! Yours may be a physical difficulty, a particular relationship, a health issue or a financial burden. When we acknowledge our weakness, we find God is there in the midst of it. Satan may be the messenger of that hurt, but Jesus enables us to manage that pain, that hurt. We should be comforted to know that God is Sovereign and uses those hurts to correct our path, to redirect our path, or maybe for the first time, shows us His plan, His path for our life! Consider Job, Gods servant in the Old Testament. In all Job went through (he lost everything; his health, his family, his possessions) he had to have known God's presence for he said, "though He Slay me, yet will I trust in Him!" Satan came to bring pain, but God sought to bring purity; the devil came to destroy,but God was in the midst of JobLife Hurts to demonstrates His grace and sufficiency. In Paul's life, in Job's life, in your and my life, God desires to use those hurts to purify our hearts toward Himself.

Three lessons Paul Learned After He Had Prayed Concerning His thorn in the Flesh:
• First, was the lesson of Humility vs. Pride - In 1Corinthians 9:27 Paul said, "I don't want to be a cast away!"  He didn't want to sit the bench, he wanted on the playing field; he didn't want to be spiritually disqualified. God knew how to protect him from himself. The scriptures teach us, "He resists the proud but He gives grace to the humble." God puts a premium on humility. He can't fill you with His grace, love and power if you’re full of yourself. When Paul was broken, he cried out to God and became pliable in His hands. Then God taught him and used him to carry the message of His love, grace and forgiveness!
• Secondly, God taught Paul the lesson of Character vs. Comfort - God never wants to waste a hurt. When we look back over any experience in life, we're able to see where God was and how He was working in that experience or circumstance. Throughout his life and ministry, in whatever the circumstance from that point forward, whether in darkness or difficulty, Paul never forgot what God taught him about Himself, "...My strength is made perfect in your weakness."
• Finally, God taught Paul the lesson of Our Timing vs. Gods Timing - When Paul prayed to God in his circumstances he didn't get the answer he prayed for but he said, "God spoke to me". Sometimes that is God’s answer – a word from Him.
* God told Moses why he wouldn't go into the promise land.
*  God told Joshua why he was being defeated at Ai.
* Jesus told his disciples, in this world you will have tribulation because of him.

Please be assured of God's timing in your circumstances. He isn't static but dynamic and always at work. In our struggles He shows us His sovereignty and His strength! In our hurts he promises His presence and the sufficiency of His grace. Being a Christian never exempts us from problems or hurt. But in those hurts we must never doubt God presence nor His grace. Doubt diminishes our ability to see the sufficiency of God’s grace amid our hurts and pain.

When we learn and understand this truth, we with Paul will say, "I will boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ will rest upon me ... For when I am weak, then am I made strong". I pray you know the sufficiency of His grace and power to keep you and to teach you in your life's hurts.

Scripture to Claim:
The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the LORD, They will flourish in the courts of our God.  |
Psalms 92:12-13 NASB

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