Five Minute Friday: OVERCOME
In our church plant, we are continually sought out to pray over those who are hurting physically or emotionally. We pray over these needs, trusting that the Lord will answer our requests according to His divine wisdom.
However, my husband has been faithful to teach those who come to us that, sometimes, it is not God’s will to take our pains and problems away but to use them as a means to humble us. He can use the greatest distress of our lives to make us more suitable for His service. Because what the enemy intends to use to bring us down, our great God intends to use to lift us up. It is only when we are girded with His grace that we can overcome.
Overcoming doesn’t always mean deliverance. Paul asked God to take away the thorn in his flesh three times, and the Lord left it where it was. Instead of a solution, He offered solace with these words “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” There was a type of deliverance — not from the physical affliction but from the fleshly response that plagued Him. God granted Him an eternal perspective, reminding Paul that He would use this case of suffering to show His power in Paul’s life (05:00).
Overcome by God’s grace, Paul finds joy even in persistent affliction. All these years later, people like you and me, when faced with great distress or disappointment, have been comforted and challenged by these words of solace. Paul’s deliverance from distress to delight continues to serve as a testimony of God’s great grace and power.
When distress finds me, I ask that God would enable me to overcome and delight in His perfect will even if it abounds with problems. If He will not deliver me from my painful affliction, I pray that He will deliver me from my fleshly response and grant me an eternal perspective. I trust He will be faithful to remind me of His strength made perfect in my weakness. Delivered from distress, — though not necessarily from the stressor — I can delight in all that plagues me, knowing He will use it for my good and His glory.
I can celebrate small knowing this obstacle that seems to take me further from my big dreams truly delivers me from attitudes and core weaknesses which pose bigger hurdles. I will both praise Him when I overcome distresses and when I am overcome by them. His grace is sufficient in either scenario.
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
What is the “thorn” God is using to humble you?
Talk to me in the comment section below!