DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-06-29
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)
BIBLE TEXT: 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to relieve me of this. 9 But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you,[j] and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me.[k] 10 So I’m not defeated by my weakness, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment—when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ—I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.
OBSERVATION: Just this past weekend family and friends encouraged a loved one, as he felt like there was not much value in his continued presence here on earth without his dear wife, whose death seemed eminent. Perhaps you’ve felt like that a time or two also, for the burden seemed harder than anything you could handle, and life beyond that point, without a miracle, seemed hopeless. But In our Scripture today, God spoke very soberly to Paul and made him aware that his continued presence here on earth would become even more meaningful, as he, and others, looked on in amazement at what God could truly do, even through broken man. Join me as we look deeper into the Scriptures today and apply them to our lives.
APPLICATION: I believe there are at least two things in this Scripture today for us to meditate on: 1). How Paul found himself in this dilemma, and 2). How God chose to answer Paul’s prayer. So let’s dig in: 1). Paul had been privileged to speak with a man who had witnessed the joys of Heaven, and of course he was ecstatic about the experience. He had already decided that although this was an awesome privilege afforded to him, he would refuse to boast of the experience. God recognized that this was an extraordinary privilege given to Paul, and He didn’t want this to create such a pride in Paul that it may caused him to feel more blessed than most other men who had never been so lucky. So To make sure that Paul gave credit only to God for His wondrous acts, God placed an obstacle in Paul’s life that caused him to attribute praise to God alone. Paul was an awesome preacher/pastor and, no doubt, could have used his experience as an awesome example, but God would not have it. On three different occasions Paul asked that he be excused of this ‘thorn’/obstacle, but now we will look at how God chose to answer Paul’s request; 2). In response to our prayers, we normally expect a ‘Yes’, ‘No’ or ‘Not yet’ type of response, but God told Paul that there was no need to request removal of the ‘thorn’, as His precious grace, God’s undeserved favor towards Paul, was sufficient for his every need. So let me suggest that you consider joining me in using this scenario in our personal experience. Let’s assume that you or I are following the call of Christ and ministering in a very challenged area of our country, or overseas. We were blessed to see a miracle transpire – one that you and fellow believers prayed diligently for. Now we are ready to let the world know that our prayers were effective, but it seems like every opportunity that we make to share that joy is either canceled, or distracted in a major way. In fact, God makes it very clear to us that we are not to mention our involvement in prayer at all, for it was ONLY His miraculous grace and power that brought about the healing miracle. Can you begin to see what Paul may have encountered? Friends, this is a very real problem. I’ve seen friends spend thousands of dollars to travel hundreds of miles to attend a healing service of a TV Evangelist, because they saw over and over how powerful his healing services were. Do you see who is receiving the praise in that? Our God is present and available to bring about a miracle anywhere that we ask in His name, believing that He alone has the power. Sure we could ask others to pray with us, or even over us. But don’t think for a moment that individual has any special healing power. God alone is the Healer, the Giver of life and the only One who could save us of our sin. Unless we connect directly with Him, we are merely wasting our time. So I believe that our lesson from this text today is that we must always remember our position, our strength and our weaknesses. Yes we know an awesome God and have a great relationship with Him, but we must never fail to let Him be God and do those things that are only possible by God. Praise God, we serve an awesome and all powerful God!
PRAYER: Precious Lord, You designed us and you know every little intricate detail about us. You know our needs before we could even ask, but yet I believe that You patiently listen to us and desire to see us whole again. Please Lord, help us to pay close attention to what Paul encountered, and especially to what you gave to him in return for his request to rid him of the ‘thorn’ placed in his side. We are so weak Lord, and incapable of hardly taking good care of ourselves, much less trying to make ourselves whole again. So we depend wholly and solely on You Lord. We need You every moment of every day, and we especially need Your awesome power to heal us of our diseases, heal our broken bodies and clear our minds so that we look only to You when we need a touch from God. Lord, You are awesome. Please forgive us of our littleness and our weaknesses. We are constantly reminded of our need for the grace and power of our King. Please be a constant reminder to us of whose we are, and who has the power to make us whole again. For it’s in Your name alone that we pray, You alone that we depend on, and You alone that we lift up our praises to. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!