When Enough is Enough

2Trying to change our circumstances can be a little like trying to kick down a brick wall with a bare foot. It is probably not going to be successful, and is certainly going to be painful. So now you have brick wall and a sore foot.  There are times in our life that we find ourselves crying out in pain, begging God to change our circumstances. Perhaps you are there right now. “Lord, I can’t do this anymore!” We’ve all been there.  Maybe you are there right now.  We push with all our might against the rough brick, hoping for signs of crumbling mortar to no avail. “Please, take this away God! It hurts too bad!”
A similar prayer can be found in 2 Corinthians 12:8-10. Paul pleaded three times for God to take away a thorn in his flesh that was causing him anguish. The Lord told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Can I be very real and say that in the midst of hurting, that answer can seem a little unfair. But these words appeared to be a balm for Paul’s soul. Digging a layer deeper can help us see God’s blessing through these words Jesus spoke to Paul.

1Sometimes a look into word use and meanings can help us dig:

My grace —-(greek word used here for grace is “charis”-his favor, or gift. It is given. Interestingly “charis” is used only in the new testament.

is sufficient for you,—– Note the present tense. (greek meaning of sufficient used in this verse holds a meaning of contentment. His gift to us is not just enough to get by, Jesus is blessing us by being our power source and source of contentment. There is not a circumstance in which joy cannot be found in Christ.

for my power—–Whose? Jesus, What? Power-his MIGHT

is made perfect in weakness—–“made perfect” translates from the greek word that means to be complete, finished and fulfilled.

Perhaps the reason Paul was so readily able to accept Jesus’s answer was because he understood it as a blessing. Jesus essentially told Paul, “I know what I am doing. You see this as pain that needs to be taken away. But I see how I can use this pain to work in you and through you. I need to keep this part of you broken for a while so I complete the good work I have begun in you (Philippians 1:6). This same kind of power, is what I used to raise my Son Jesus (Romans 8:11), so I don’t want you to miss out. I know it hurts, and I hear your every prayer. I catch every tear that you shed (Psalm 56:8). So true to my nature of mercy, I bless you with my joy so that in my grace you are content in the midst of the pain you are feeling, and by that you will have everything you need to make it through this season.”  The next time we cry out to Jesus, how will we respond to his answer?  If we are stuck with a brick wall, the blessing spoken to Paul may be the very balm our soul needs.

Worth the Wait

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“When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who know my way”  Psalm 142:3

The next time you are faced with a big decision, wouldn’t it be nice to have a flow chart from God? Each step from start to finish clearly stated in bold text with bright arrows pointing out the path?

As believers we are called to follow God’s will for our lives, but understanding His will and what step to take next can be really challenging, if not down right frustrating.

There are times when we literally find our foot dangling in the air, ready to take an obedient step, but no step is yet to be found to place our foot upon.  So we wait…and, after a while that foot can get a little tired dangling out there!  Those toes start to tingle and fall asleep, our knee grows a little squeaky, and our thigh muscle tightens in pain.  Our balance begins to wobble, arms start flapping, and by now the muscles in our torso are holding on for dear life. The waiting is not easy.  But God promises us something about seeking God’s will and it is worth the wait.

1 John 5:14-15 tells us we can have confidence in knowing that our prayers to follow God’s will are answered.

Proverbs 3:5 shows us what that looks like as we go about our daily life.  It’s a commonly read verse, but let’s dig deeper to the marrow:  Continue reading “Worth the Wait”