“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2nd Cor. 12:9)
When I was a young man, I could run the mile in 4:17 when the world record was 4:06, I have much difficulty walking up and down stairs somedays now.
As I have heard said, it is better to remember you could do something than attempting to do it again. I want to ask you today, do you truly glory in your infirmities, does pain cause you to either become angry or despondent, or do you thank the Almighty for sending it to you?
“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.” (2nd Cor. 12:7)
“So,” Paul could have said, “You are an evangelist who has brought many to Christ, a writer of many books, a teacher of teachers? Well, I went to the third heaven.”
Just in case, sometimes the pain, those thorns come because our Loving Father remembers we are dust, and so we thank Him for them.
When you envision Samson in your mind, do you see a large, strong muscular man or a slight fellow who looks as if he would have difficulty picking up a sack of feathers? Which one do you believe would glorify God more?
Sometimes when we find ourselves soaring close to the clouds, the Almighty breaks one of our wings, when the strong lion realizes his strength and begins to glory in it, the Lord shuts him up in his den with pain. All because He loves us.
What some consider their love for Christ is nothing less than vainglory, and when you meet them it is quite easy to see. The number of Scripture verses they have memorized, the volumes of books they have read, the important people they know and associate with, all this they will regale you with, but rarely giving God the glory.
I have been ready to go home to heaven to be with the Lord since the day I was saved by His grace, but He decided to let me get old, and if there is one truth that an old man can tell you that loves the Lord, it is that the more the body deteriorates, the more one must rely on the Living God. I pray that if you are young, you will spend a few moments contemplating this truth.
“Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.” (Psalm 71:9)
Pride, being high-minded because of the accomplishments that the Lord has seen fit to use us for His glory, can be the downfall of
some, they begin to see themselves as worthy, and that my friends is the first step on the path to sinful pride. “And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” (Job 1:8) Job perhaps had taken the first steps and it was time for a reminder to that man of God of the One who is Sovereign over all creation.
I offer conjecture here and nothing more, but perhaps years later when Job thought back on those days of intense pain and heartache that he saw them as the best days of his life. He had learned to glory in his infirmities.
The initial response to pain, at least for me, is anger and great frustration, it takes me a little while to give the Lord thanks for it, to praise His name for keeping me from pride, from vainglory. No one likes it, no one enjoys it, but we accept it as His will. Just as the Lord Jesus Christ did as He walked to the place of the Skull.
With each fall of the whip, with each blow from a fist, with each fall of the hammer, “Thy will be done.”
Commend yourself into His hands.