In this column, I would ask you to take a Bible and turn to 2 Corinthians 12. I would like to take the time to point out some lessons from verses 7-10. Paul had some sort of physical problem and he prayed three times for it to be removed. The first lesson for us is that God heard his prayer. Let’s look at another verse that ties in with this request from Paul to God. In Romans 8:26, the Bible tells us, “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (NKJV) Paul’s prayer, and ours, are offered from our human perspective. When we pray, the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf and transforms our prayers into ones in line with the will of God for us. We see this in Roans 8:27. “Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, Because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (NKJV) In looking at Paul’s prayer in 2 Corinthians 12, one might assume that his prayer was not answered, but that is not the case. God always gives an answer to our prayers, but He does not always do it in the way we want Him to answer it. That was the case with Paul, and in doing so, God gave him much more that he asked for. While He did not remove the thorn, He gave Paul sufficient grace to meet this need. Here is another lesson for us. If God’s grace was enough for Paul (and it was) it will also be enough for us. We are confronted at this time in our history by something few of us have ever experienced in our lifetime. For the believer, God’s grace will be enough to see us through this crisis. He wants us to lean on Him and get strength, encouragement and comfort during these difficult times. But there’s something else God wants us to see here. The strength of God is perfected in our weakness. It is through our weakness that God shines. This happens when we recognize our weaknesses and allow God to supply our strength. So, dear friend, if you are in Christ He will give you grace for every need, and He will not desert you during difficult times. It is through them that He wants to draw you closer to Him, and allow Him to work in your life.
If you have any questions about how to be saved, or about what we believe, why not come and visit us on a Sunday morning (after the shelter in place order has been lifted), we’d love to see you! If you are looking for a church that preaches the Word of God, rightly divided (or if you want to find out what that means) why not come and check us out? We would welcome the opportunity to get to know you, fellowship with you around God’s Word and answer any questions you might have.
In His Saving and Abounding Grace,
Pastor Wes Barteck