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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Thursday, April 30, 2015
We don’t know what Paul’s thorn in the flesh was because he doesn’t tell us. Whatever the case, it was a chronic and debilitating problem, which at times kept him from working. This thorn was a hindrance to his ministry, and he prayed for its removal; but God refused. Paul was a very self-sufficient person, so this thorn must have been difficult for him. It kept Paul humble, reminded him of his need for constant contact with God, and benefited those around him as they saw God at work in his life.
Although God did not remove Paul’s affliction, he promised to demonstrate his power in Paul. The fact that God’s power is displayed in our weaknesses should give us courage and hope. As we recognize our limitations, we will depend more on God for our effectiveness rather than on our own energy, effort, or talent. Our limitations not only help develop Christian character but also deepen our worship, because in admitting them, we affirm God’s strength.
When we are strong in abilities or resources, we are tempted to do God’s work on our own, and that can lead to pride. When we are weak, allowing God to fill us with his power, then we are stronger than we could ever be on our own. God does not intend for us to be weak, passive, or ineffective—life provides enough hindrances and setbacks without us creating them. When those obstacles come, we must depend on God. Only his power will make us effective for him and will help us do work that has lasting value. (NLT)
2 Corinthians 12:6-10 – I have plenty to boast about and would be no fool in doing it, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it. I don’t want anyone to think more highly of me than what they can actually see in my life and my message, even though I have received wonderful revelations from God. But to keep me from getting puffed up, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from getting proud.
Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me. Since I know it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite content with my weaknesses and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Chase Martin (Tennessee) titled his story “STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS;” here is a portion of Chase’s story:
“When I found out I had Type 1 diabetes, my life changed forever. I was scared; but in time I became more connected with my family, friends, and God. I found out that when I’m weak, with God I can be strong.
“Our pastor had asked my family to talk with the church about our experience with diabetes. I was nervous when the pastor asked us questions. I told him, ‘I know that God will use my diabetes for good,’ but I wasn’t sure what the good would be. . .
“God has used my experience for good. After my family spoke at our church, we heard about a man who had listened to the service. He had been diagnosed with diabetes and was struggling with all the changes he had to make. After he heard us, he thought, If that boy has the courage to deal with it, so do I.
“Everyone has some burden to bear. Mine is diabetes. With God’s help, I’m going to do something good with it.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – How does God give me strength in my weakness?
Prayer: Thank you, dear God, for turning our weaknesses into strengths and for using our troubles for good. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
For more Helpful Inspirational Material:
STRENGTH, STRENGTHS: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/strength-strengths/
SPIRITUAL GIFTS: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/spiritual-gifts/
ABILITY, ABILITIES: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/ability-abilities/
GUILT, GUILTY: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/guilt-guilty/
SUFFERING, SUFFER: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/suffering-suffer/
HIDE, HIDING, HIDDEN: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/hide-hiding-hidden/
LEARNING, LEARN: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/learning-learn/
EXCUSES, EXCUSE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/excuses-excuse/
OPINION, OPINIONS: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/opinion-opinions/
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