Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Promise of the Holy Spirit
2 Corinthians 12:1-10
How easy is it to proclaim "I put my trust in God"? Our humanity affords us times of ease, happiness, and freedom. When life’s easy, we believe we’re fully sufficient and believe we can rely less on God. Life also succumbs us to hardships, insults, and calamity. During the storms, how easy is it to be content in your time of weakness, knowing that God knew what you would bear?
Paul shared the words in this chapter when false apostles were overwhelming the Corinthian Christians, and undermined Paul’s teachings. He aimed to share the good news of Christ without boasting about himself and the visions of heaven he’s received (though he would’ve been very popular!). As we read further into 2 Cor 12:3, Paul alludes to a man who was blessed with revelations from God, which we deduce to being Paul himself, as evidenced by verse 7, “... in order to keep me from becoming conceited”. Paul never divulges the details of the experience he had in heaven, as to not divert glory to himself. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Pet 5:6).
Paul says that a thorn was “given” to him in the form of Satan’s messenger. Interestingly, he doesn’t seem to sulk at the circumstance - he accepts this trial as a gift, knowing that this difficult season would pass, as God has promised “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. So we say with confidence, ‘the Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid’” (Heb 13:5). During the time he was facing affliction from Satan’s messenger, Paul pleaded with the Lord multiple times, praying to absolve him from this torture - his prayers went unanswered. When we’re met with hardship, don’t we ask God why this happened to us, or to take the pain away? God answered Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9). Notice how God doesn’t erase the pain from Paul; he provided grace during a time of weakness. Oftentimes, we close our hearts to God when we feel our prayers are unanswered or if we don’t get the answer we want. This response exemplifies our inability to acknowledge our own insufficiency and humble ourselves.
Though God’s grace may not immediately resolve conflict, our dependence and continued relationship with Him will allow us the strength to breathe during times of difficulty. We humans are weak, but are blessed with the strength and grace of God which will guide us through struggles we think are too overbearing. The trials we face on Earth are immaterial to God’s love for us. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Phi 4:6).
Dear Lord, thank you for always watching over us and giving us the strength to overcome our personal hardships. Help me acknowledge my insufficiency so I can rely on your grace and power when I don’t see an end to my struggle. Allow me to trust in your promise that you will never leave or forsake me. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
“Pray, then let it go. Don’t try to manipulate / force the outcome. Just trust God to open the right doors at the right time.” - Unknown
Ms. Betsy Abraham
Long Island Mar Thoma Church