BOTTOM LINE: All Christians have had times when we feel like God is Inattentive, Uncooperative, and/or Late. What do we do when we feel like God’s not paying attention to us?
QUESTION: Have you ever wanted to just completely quit on God, quit talking to God, quit going to church, etc… because you honestly felt like God wasn’t even hearing you? Your hurt and struggle is so bad, and you’re pleading w/ God, and NOTHING?
DOWNLOAD: Paul was the guy that took the gospel … the truth of Jesus … outside the area of Jerusalem and Judea … and he begin to spread it all over the world. Paul spent 20 years of his adult life getting on ships and traveling all around the Mediterranean region … traveling into some very hostile environments … and introducing this idea that God has done something unique in the world and HE sent Jesus into this world to die for the sins of Mankind.
He was shipwrecked … he was beat up … they threw rocks at him (I was going to say he was stoned but I wasn’t sure how that would sound! LOL) … he was put in prison … he was snake bit … he almost drowned … I mean every single day w/ Paul was an adventure right? Clearly, God knew Paul … God knew his name and God had called him to this very, very specific task.
Yet Paul had an affiliction … we don’t know what it was, but some physical ailment that was hindering his ability to fulfill God’s calling for his life. So he prayed for 3 complete SEASONS of his life for God to remove it. Not 3 days … 3 seasons … and God said NO! Arggghhhh … seriously God? I’ve done everything you asked and I still have to endure this? You’re taking care of other people. You’ve used me to heal other people. Why can’t you do this for me?
And God said … 2 Corinthians 12:9 … “9 But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, …” And GRACE in this context is simply the ability to take another step of Faith … it’s the ability to et through another day. Grace is the ability to go to work and endure it 1 more time; Grace is the ability to come home to the unknown 1 more afternoon; Grace is the ability to keep going … in spite of the fact that nothing around us has changed … it’s the ability to find the energy and to find the strength and to find the faith to keep moving in the direction that God would have us move.
And then God says … 2 Corinthians 12:9 … “9 But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, … for my power is made perfect [that is: mature, comes to full fruition, is totally exploited] in weakness.”
We LOVE for God’s strength to be shown through our strengths and gifts and talents … but not so much through our weaknesses.
ILLUSTRATION: 4 Things We Can take-a-way
1. We Have Permission to Ask God to Remove Our Thorns.
2. God Has Permission to Say NO.
3. God May Choose to Showcase His Power on the Stage of Our Weakness.
4. We Won’t Experience God’s Sustaining Grace While Resisting His Will.