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
Are you presently experiencing a very trying season in your walk? Perhaps God has instructed you to step out in faith and doing so is very overwhelming to you. However, if you’re like me, you have a heart to serve God and gladly accept His plan… that is, until you realize that fulfilling that plan has caused you to walk out on the water, which, by now, is way up over your head. There are times when we get out of the boat and step right into a commitment or a trial that tries our faith. It seems those are the times that we are most likely to ask God, “Where are you?”
The Apostle John tells us that our faith in Christ is the victory that overcomes this world. He also teaches us what things are in the world that we will gain victory over… the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. When we find ourselves in a position or situation that demands we walk by faith in God, then we should know that God has strategically placed us there, not to fear, but to allow the power of God to flow through us.
God not only knows how fragile we are. He also knows about our tendency to be self-sufficient. However, the middle ground for these two extremes is only found in the midst of trust. To borrow a phrase from Paul, we are usually caught betwixt and between two extremes. If God should push us beyond the breaking point of our humanity, there is a risk that we will revolt out of fear. Furthermore, if He should leave us in our comfort zone, there is a risk that we will run ahead of Him.
So why does God allow us to be in such hostile situations that we often wonder whether we will even make it through, and we question whether He is even with us? Paul found himself in this very place in his ministry and sought God so that He might remove this thorn…which was a messenger from Satan. God told Paul that His grace was sufficient for him; His strength was made perfect in weakness. If active faith in Christ flowing out of our hearts is the victory over this world, then this is where we need to reside, spiritually. After God instructed Paul of the importance of operating in the strength of His divine grace, his attitude was changed. He understood that God was working in him and with him through the adversity, and this gave Paul solace.
For the first time, Paul was willing to accept, not the thorn in the flesh, but God’s will while resisting the temptation to give up because of the thorn. Now Paul was operating in the power of Christ like never before; he had gone to a higher level of resting in Christ and in trusting God with his life.
If this devotion has spoken to you about the present struggles in your walk, then allow me to share an important truth that I have come to know about God. When I have found myself betwixt and between and asked God, “Where are you and will you please remove me from this situation,” He would begin to show me His hand at work. He didn’t remove the situation, nor did He move me out of the experience. However, He would very lovingly show me signs of His presence all around me and that I was in the eye-of-the-storm. After showing Moses many signs to prove to the leaders of Israel and Egypt that God had called him, God told Moses, “You will know I am with you when you have led My people out.”
The greatest sign God is with you is not that He has destroyed your enemies or kept you from the fiery trials, but that you have accomplished what He has called you to do while going through great adversity. Please allow this word to encourage you to continue obeying God in spite of the impossible situations because God is with you.
Walking by Faith and not by sight,
Pastor Asa Dockery
Pastor Asa Dockery