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Strength In The Trials

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10 (NKJV)

As a father of two lovely girls I can fully understand when a parent hurts as their child goes through painful times and trials.  It is heart-wrenching to watch, and I can personally attest my willingness to take their place on many occasions.  Then there are other times when they needed to experience the pain so they could understand boundaries and limitations.

Let me be perfectly clear, I never purposely allowed my daughters to fall while riding their bicycles if I were in a place to catch them, but when they did suffer I always knew they had learned something very valuable, and they would be stronger for it.

Our girls are now older and they are raising families of their own, but Carol and I are still tempted often to help them, even if there is a hint of need.  And yet we know they must experience and endure various hardships if they are to be shaped by God.  It is usually through the tough times when we are able to draw near to God, and we are willing to become fully dependent upon Him—we are able to learn to be content with far less than what we thought we needed.  We see the Apostle Paul speaking of this same thing in the Book of Philippians.

Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  Philippians 4:11-12 (NKJV)

Q:         What was Paul saying, and what can we apply to our lives from this?

Paul was saying he had to learn to be content—it wasn’t natural for him, nor is it for most of us.  Ultimately, Paul had learned to seek God for everything and he was confident God would give him exactly what he needed, even if it wasn’t what he wanted.

He had learned how to trust God in every particular situation and in all situations as a whole.

I want to encourage you to meditate upon these things today.  Let’s choose to trust in God’s provision for our lives.  Let’s choose to learn how to be content in whatever state we may find ourselves.  God has a plan to use all of these things for good for those who love Him and who have been called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28).

STUDY QUESTION: According to 2 Cor. 12:10 what did the Apostle Paul take pleasure in, and for what reason?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Have you seen times in your life where you have abounded and have suffered in need?

APPLICATION: Let’s choose to draw our strength from God, especially when we are in the midst of hardships.  He knows what we are going through and He loves us enough to allow us to go through these valleys.

Let’s Pray…

Father, thank You for watching over us in every aspect of our lives.  Father, we know You are in control and we need You to guide our lives today, and to give us the strength, wisdom and discernment to make proper choices.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000