2 Corinthians 12: 7-9 "I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me."
I am so thankful for this portion of the Word. There are three parts of it that really stood out to me today:
1. "I pleaded"
2. "My grace"
"I pleaded" Paul did not whine to other Christians about how hard his walk was. Instead he brought it to God. And not just once... he pleaded with God three times for God to remove a situation that made Paul feel weak and helpless. And, God did NOT remove the Paul from the situation. Instead, God let Paul know that He would NOT take him out of the situation, but that Paul was not alone, and he was equipped to live a full life in spite of a less than perfect situation.
The Holy Spirit is our COMFORTER. We have emasculated Him to the point that He is no more to us than a quilt or a blanket. We want "comfort" that makes us able to take a little nap and not have to be concerned with anything or anyone but ourselves.
The word "comfort" is originally from the two latin words for "with" and "strength". This is the kind of "Comforter" that Holy Spirit is... He has been sent to be WITH us and to STRENGTHEN us spiritually. He is not a static presence... He is moving in the earth and He is living within the members of the body of Christ, the Church. He is not here to help us to get all snuggy soft and sleepy, to give us a big income and a big home and a fancy car. He is here to point everyone on earth straight to Jesus and to empower us to do the work of Christ on earth.
"My grace" What is grace? it is another word that has been worn down over the years until say someone with "grace" is someone with poise, elegance, and politeness. You would hardly call a he-man "graceful"... it is a feminine term. But, the scripture says that while God will NOT remove the stumbling block from Paul's walk, grace is available. Now, this is a spiritual battle and when I am in the midst of a spiritual battle all the poise and elegance and politeness in the world is meaningless. I want God. Not flowery words. But, God tells Paul to look to His grace... the word for "grace" here means, "favor, loving kindness and mercy". WOW! When we are up against it, it is sometimes hard to believe that we have God's favor. That He is pleased with us. But, we do! The FAVOR of God is on us. That should make us able to withstand anything. The God who created the UNIVERSE favors me. Ol' crazy Sharon... I have the favor of God. His "loving kindness" is also all over us. In the Hebrew the word is "hesed". http://www.bible-researcher.com/chesed.html It is only used of a relationship where those involved have a close tie to one another. It is not just blanket kindness, and mercy for everyone. It is used to stress the RELATIONSHIP between two individuals.
So... not only does God favor me, He has allowed me to be in a two way relationship with HIM! Also, His "grace" contains the element of "God's mercy". His "mercy" is what allows me to come boldly before His throne... His "mercy" is what allows me to call myself a "child of God"... His mercy is what causes my spirit to be able to cry, "Abba, Father" to the One that created everything! The Word says that His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. And, His faithfulness never comes to an end. No matter how much we need, there is MORE!
"Sufficient" What a promise! There is always enough of God's grace. "Sufficient" is a word that can be intrepreted as "barely enough" or "plenty". Since there are so many scriptures that tell us God's mercy and loving kindness are endless, I think it is safe to believe that we can interpret the word "sufficient" here to mean P L E N T Y !
Oh, if I can only get this into my head, my soul and my spirit!!!!!!!!!!! God is on my side, and He has my back! He also has my front and both sides! LOL!!!! All of the STRENGTH of heaven is in His hands and He holds me in those same hands!
Praying today for:
The nation of Syria
The state of Nebraska
Remember, Nana loves you!