2 Corinthians 12 : 7 - 10, And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. NKJV
Have you ever gone through something as a Christian that you thought you would never be able to bear, much less overcome? Can I tell you, by the authority of God's Word, that there is something far more destructive to your soul than anything you have faced in the past or will ever face in this life while walking by faith? SELF is a far greater enemy to our own soul than Satan, suffering, and even death.
In order to keep us on guard as His children, God has given every person both a measure of faith and His Word (Romans 12). With this portion of faith, we can choose to resist the works of the Devil that cause us great horror, anguish, and pain. As we stand in defiance to Satan's attacks through our faith in Christ, the grace of God will come upon our hearts and will empower us to overcome our flesh nature (self) and trust the Lord. The end result of this type of battle against our faith will cause us to know Christ and will also cause us to become conformed into His image... as long as we stay the course.
In John 3, Jesus tells us that He wasn't sent into the world to condemn the world, but that THROUGH HIM the world might be saved. He goes on to say that many will reject Him, because their deeds are evil, and they hate the LIGHT. It is the will of man that will send people to hell to live eternally in the lake of fire... not God. In order to become a child of God, we had to submit our will to Him as our Lord. Now He is the Lord of our lives, and we are the earthen vessels that are to bring Him glory and honor through a holy life. Since self has been and will continue to be our worst enemy, God uses our faith in His Son to overcome the world.
Do you remember, in Daniel 3, the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, the three Hebrew men that were threatened with being burned alive in a fiery furnace if they didn't bow their knee to the King's idol? They told the king that their God was able to deliver them from the fire, but that, even if He didn't, they would still be delivered in the fire from the wicked king. You see, they didn't allow the threat of being tortured and killed by fire make them go back on their faith in God. Here's the clincher! Since they chose to suffer for their faith, God kept them with HIS resurrection power while they were in the furnace. When we choose to suffer for the sake of Christ instead of giving into the will of our flesh (self), then God will give us, in exchange for our trust, His mighty power to confront, endure, and conqueror our enemy. Then we will know our God and be strong.
As we are conformed unto the death of Christ, in order that the body of sin might be done away with, we are at the same time, through our faith, partaking of His resurrection power. As we partake of God's resurrection power during the furnaces of our life, we also know that death has no power over our souls either. You might be asking, "Why does God put us through all these trials and afflictions? Does He want to kill us?" NO! He wants us, through faith in Him, to crucify the flesh nature so that we might become partakers of His DIVINE nature and overcome the last enemy which is death.
Hebrews 2 : 14 - 15, Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. NKJV
Through our faith and God's amazing GRACE, He empowers us to live a life of spiritual freedom in spite of Satan's attacks against us. He sent Jesus to set us free from sin through His death and to liberate us through His life in us from the fear of death so that we can obey His Word. So the next time you're faced with an unthinkable horror, remember this: You're a child of the Most High God, and He is with you to empower you with resurrection power. His power will carry you through if you will submit to His will as Paul did.
Submitted to His GRACE,