Rant for Jesus- Christian Life by Sarah Anderson October, 2019

 The Christian life is not devoid of problems. God does not give us immunity from all suffering and pain. Sooner or later into every life some tears will fall. We are living in a sin sick world and cursed because of it. One of the curses is death, and if you have not yet felt the pain of having a loved one die, in time you will.

Non-Christian’s experience many sorrows, sickness and death. Christian’s also experience these things, however God never allows us to experience pain or suffering unless He has a divine eternal purpose for it. Nothing happens to us except God has allowed it, and if God has allowed it, He has a good purpose for it.

Our first and initial response to a painful experience should be prayer. Paul is writing about a painful experience, he called a thorn in the flesh. Paul’s first response was prayer. In fact he prayed three times concerning this debilitating pain. When he finally got his answer, it was not what he was asking, for he was asking that it would be removed. He wanted God to take away the pain. Instead God gave him something better, the promise of God. “My grace is sufficient for you, My strength is made perfect in your weakness.”

God’s grace is sufficient to take us through any and all trials that we may face on earth. This grace will take us through the darkest nights with a smile; it will sustain us when all else fails; it will turn our crosses into crowns. This thorn in the flesh was necessary to keep Paul humble. Because of the abundance of the revelations given unto him, because of his indescribable visit into heaven, it would be so easy to be exalted into a state of spiritual pride.

Affliction is often the time of our greatest spiritual growth. It is in the storm that the roots are forced to go deep.

Affliction develops a depth of relationship. Paul looked beyond the weakness and the pain to the glorious fruit that God was bringing into his life, for it forced him to stay close to God that he might experience His strength.

We like being comfortable. We resent being taken out of our comfort zone. There seems to be a nesting instinct in all of us. You have heard the saying, “No pain, no gain.” So it seems in our spiritual walk. Paul later wrote, that the present suffering is not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed. He had a taste of that glory.

He learned that when he was weak, then he was strong. We seldom stumble at our places of weakness, for we recognizing our weakness, and flee to the Rock that is higher than us. It is in our places of personal strength that we usually fail, for we are so prone to trust in ourselves and not feel the need of the Lord’s strength. God’s declaration to Paul was, “My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

When we are weak, the Lord gives us His strength. When we are weak, His strength is made perfect in us. And that is indeed what we all need.