How am I made strong in my weekness

I have discovered a lot of my weaknesses lately. Well it is actually an ongoing discovery. It seems that when I hit a trial I am reminded of the apostle Paul. You see, Paul was able to boast in his weaknesses because it was an opportunity for God to be glorified through him. In regards to his thorn in the flesh (some kind of painful trial) Paul prayed three times for God to remove it. This is God’s response and Paul's reaction to God’s words.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 “But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, formy power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

So, I am learning to go to the Lord with thanksgiving for what ever I find myself in. Easier said than done, right? It is a learning process indeed. In any trial, great or small there are a few things that can be happening. Jesus is either refining me, rebuking me, or simply desiring to glorify Himself through me (John 9:3, Hebrews 12:5-12, 1Peter 3:17). God does this for His own purposes and for His own glory. He does this so that His grace might be displayed. That He would be the object of our affections in a greater way. Job was like Paul in this way.

Job looked back on his own experience in suffering and had some surprising words to say. After all that he went through we actually find him repenting of his words through out the book even in the midst of such suffering. Job 42:1-6 “Then Job answered the Lord and said: "I know that you can do all things and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.’Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?' Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 'Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.' I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

How can we go through trials, knowing that they come from God for His own purpose in our lives, and yet be able to trust Him and love Him still? Matthew 12:20-21 “a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory; and in his name the Gentiles will hope." Jesus is a God who will not ever leave us nor forsake us. He is tender even in the toughest times of our lives, even when He allows difficulty to come into our lives.

This truth is one of the foundations of faith. If you could dig down through my spiritual life and brush away all of the layers of spiritual experience and understanding, you would end up at the bedrock of trust in the sovereign grace of God. This leads to joy. Deep joy, the kind that Paul calls the peace that passes all understanding. This guards our thoughts. This guards our heart. This is how Paul can accept a painful trial. This is how Job can come to the end of his suffering and realize that he spoke to quickly against God. God is good. He will always be faithful, after all He is the one who began a good work in me and He finishes what He starts, always!

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