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 and he saw beyond his physical circumstances. He realized that even though he was going through terrible trials that God was still in control of his life. Here are just some of the things that happened to Paul:
'I am more so; in labors more abundantly, in prisons more abundantly, in stripes above measure, in deaths often. Five times from the Jews I received forty stripes minus one. 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).
As an Apostle, Paul had a hard life, but he understood that God was in control and that everything worked out just as it should every single time. He was thrown into prison, but led the jailor and his household to Jesus (Acts 16:27). He was shipwrecked, but led the island of Malta to Jesus (Acts 28:1).
Paul had a 'thorn in the flesh' and sought the Lord three times to take it away (2 Corinthians 12:7), but the Lord told him 'My grace is sufficient for you.' Paul realized that it was to keep him from being 'excessively exalted' from the great revelations that he had received. Jesus in Gethsemane prayed three times for something to be removed, but that was not either. They were both strengthened and encouraged to bear it.
The devil had limitations in what he 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).
Paul and Jesus understood that nothing was going to happen to them unless God allowed it, and 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 you are completely devoted to God, He will live through you, He will 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 and the things that are meant to harm you, will only push you further down God's path for you. If I had not lost other jobs, then I would not be a pastor today. Relax, God has got this.Prayer: Heavenly Father I thank You for taking care of me. I know that You are in control no matter how dark things appear. 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.
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