Therefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then am I strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10 WEB.
The Apostle Paul learned to be content in whatever situation that he found himself. He saw beyond his physical circumstances and realized that God was still in control of his life even though he was going through terrible trials. Here are just some of the things that happened to Paul during his ministry:
"Are they servants of Christ? (I speak as one beside himself.) I am more so: in labors more abundantly, in prisons more abundantly, in stripes above measure, and in deaths often. Five times I received forty stripes minus one from the Jews. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I suffered shipwreck. I have been a night and a day in the deep. I have been in travels often, perils of rivers, perils of robbers, perils from my countrymen, perils from the Gentiles, perils in the city, perils in the wilderness, perils in the sea, perils among false brothers; in labor and travail, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, and in cold and nakedness" (2 Corinthians 11:23'27).
That was an excerpt from the life of an Apostle. Paul had a challenging ministry, but he understood that God was in control and that everything worked out just as it should. His life was not about being comfortable all the time. Paul was thrown into prison, but he led the jailor and his household to Jesus that night (Acts 16:27). He was shipwrecked but then led the island of Malta to Jesus (Acts 28:1).
Paul had a "thorn in the flesh," and he sought the Lord three times to take it away (2 Corinthians 12:7), but the Lord told him, "My grace is sufficient for you." He soon realized that it was to keep him from being "excessively exalted" from the incredible revelations he had received. The thorn actually helped balance him. Jesus in Gethsemane prayed three times for "this cup" to be removed, but it was not. They were both strengthened and encouraged to face what was coming.
Limitations were put on what the devil could do in their life. There were boundaries set where he could do this, but no more. Just like in the book of Job, God set limits for satan: "Behold, all that he has is in your power. Only on himself don't put forth your hand" (Job 1:12). Then later again: "Behold, he is in your hand. Only spare his life" (Job 2:6). God set limits.
Paul and Jesus understood that nothing would happen to them unless God allowed it. Many times, God took them through the situation instead of around it. When Jesus was brought before Pilate, He told him this:
"Pilate therefore said to him, "Aren't you speaking to me? Don't you know that I have power to release you, and have power to crucify you?" Jesus answered, "You would have no power at all against me, unless it were given to you from above" (John 19:10'11).
God takes full responsibility for the life wholly devoted to Him. When your life is entirely dedicated to God, He will live through you and seek the lost through you. When persecutions and attacks come against you, God will take care of it, or He may take you through it, and you will become stronger.
Nothing will come against you today that catches God off guard. Situations the enemy created to harm you will only push you further down God's path for you. For example, if I had not lost my previous jobs, I would not be a pastor today. God has got this. Relax and trust Him. Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank You for taking care of me. I know that You are in control, no matter how dark things appear. Please draw my heart to You, teach me what I need to know, fulfill Your will in my life, and let me live for You. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!
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