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2 Corinthians 12:9-10

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And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

If you find yourself being lied about or slandered in today’s world, there are any number of ways to set the record straight, group emails, social media, blog posts, or video conference calls.
But in AD 55, the Apostle Paul could not track down the leaders of the Corinthian church on their phones. This was a time when all communication was either face to face or by letter, and to get anywhere you had to rely on four legged transportation, a perilous sailing vessel, or your own 2 sandaled feet.
In the meantime ,your enemies could have a field day portraying you in distorted, unflattering terms or attacking your character with outright lies.
In human terms, Paul was saddened and frustrated, bordering on indignant and angry, about what was happening at the church he had founded just 4 years before.
He was being viciously slandered by a particularly arrogant group of adversaries, but what could he do? He could plan face to face visits to tackle the issues head on, and he could also give himself to prayer, the original wireless communications.
His second letter to the Corinthians was essentially a document to prepare them for an imminent visit. Would it be a happy reunion of brothers and sisters in Christ, or a tense standoff?
The answer was up to them. One thing was for sure: Paul could not let the situation continue as it was, not when his very authority as an apostle of Jesus Christ was being challenged.
The thing that caused the Corinthian Church to question Paul’s credentials as an apostle and to suggest he was not to be trusted was false apostles had infiltrated the Church.
They had twisted God’s words to fit their own agenda. They used an old trick of taking the text out of context. Now any time someone takes the text out of context it is for a pretext.
They have their own agenda. These so called super apostles, were slick, trained speakers, who preached for pay, while Paul preached free of charge. Paul considered this to be a true test of his integrity by which he would eventually discredit his opponents Vs 11:12.
So with this backdrop to the book of 2 Corinthians let’s walk though these 2 verses and see wha God is telling us about His will in this respect.
At the start of chapter 12 these verses describe a moment in Paul’s life when he had a heavenly experience. Scripture dos not provide many details. In fact, Paul seemed reluctant to even mention his own name, instead he says, I know a man. Scholars, agree that Paul was talking about himself.
He was not even sure whether his experience was physical or spiritual. (In.. or out of the body), but he does know he was given a unique privilege: to go to heaven and return to tell of it.
Much debate has surrounded Paul’s thorn in the flesh, to the point that it distracts from the message and principals that these verse are trying to get us to see.
The point is not the thorn but that the thorn existed at all. the flesh is till corrupt and still corrupting, even in an apostle who was given divine revelation and visions. But god is greater than satan and greater than flesh.
Through our brokenness as God’s servants we are made humble, the power of Christ shines through our lives and ministries.
This thorn greatly pained Paul, but God’s provision was and is sufficient. The verb here is present tense. that means its was not sufficient yesterday or next week but right now. God’s grace for personal trials is ever and will always be able to meet our human needs.
In the face of the thorn that remained, Paul did not whine about his state. Instead he took on a new attitude. He recognized that what was weak in him served to magnify what was strong in God. God always allows those who are weak to be channels of His great power.
Although God did not remove Paul’s affliction, he promised to demonstrate His power in Paul. the fact that God’s power shows up in our weaknesses, should give us courage.
As we recognize our limitations, we will rely on God for ur effectiveness rather than our own energy, effort or talent. Our limitations not only help develop Christian character, but also deepen our worship, because in admitting them, we affirm God’s strength.
When we are strong in abilities or resources, we are tempted to do God’s work on our own, and that can lead to pride. When we ar weak, allowing God to fill us with His power, then we are stronger than we could ever be on our own.
God does not intend for us to be weak, passive, or ineffective, life provides enough, hinderances and setbacks without us creating them. When they come and they will, we must depend on God. Only his power will make us effective for Him and will help us do work that has lasting value.
Ok so let’s now look at this scripture. god spoke directly to and specifically for Paul. God said to Paul “And He said to me.” Paul could have a conversation with God because he had a relationship with God because he spent time in prayer and scripture study. He spent time alone with God.
God told Paul in no uncertain terms that His Grace was sufficient. Now we know that grace is God’s unmerited favor that we do not deserve. The definition of sufficient is enough or as much as is needed.
In other words God ‘s Grace is all you and I need. You can look else where, you can talk to as many experts as you want but God’s grace is all we need, When we believe and are obedient to His word.
You see in oder for us to believe that God’s grace is sufficient for us we have to put our full trust in God. In oder to trust God we have to who God is and what He stands for.
The principles of God are in the Old and New Testaments. So if we are not studying those things it will not strengthen of faith in God for the trials and tribulations of life.
God’s grace will always be just enough. Our problem is that we desire the overflow, we desire much more , but God’s grace is about just enough.
God’s grace insure we have just enough and then God says trust Me for the rest. God is saying you have enough in Me now trust Me.
This challenges our faith because then we start to “What If” everything. We what if ourselves into bad health. Second guessing the God who created the heavens and the earth.
Some of us can’t even turn on our tv’s but we will what if God Himself. My grace is sufficient for you. My grace is sufficient when things look bad. My grace is sufficient when the money is tight. My grace is sufficient in the dark times and the bright times. My grace is sufficient when the relationship is rocky. My grace is sufficient when you din’t have a job. My grace is sufficient when you sick and even the Doctor don’t; want to talk to you. My grace is sufficient when other look down on you. My grace is sufficient when you don’t think you measure up to the world’s standards. When your not tall enough or skinny enough of fat enough or smart enough or rich enough. My grace is all you need . My grace is sufficient for you. God’ says His grace is enough for you.
So how do we get to the point where ewe trust God enough to believe that His grace is enough for us? You always ask such great questions.
We simply have to know the will of God. The will of God is in the word of God. The will of God is clear. According to the word of God the will of God for example is for husbands to love their wives, Col 3:19. The will of God is for Wives to respect their husbands. Ephesians 5:33. The will of Godis for wives to submit to their husbands Col 3:18. The will of God is for children to obey their parents Col 3:20 Tjhe will of God is that we abstain form sexual immorality 1 Thess 4:3. It doesn’t get any clearer than that.
The will of god is that you and I would be growing in the grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ Col 1:10. It is the will of God that you and I give thanks in all things 1 Thess 5:18.
As you and I can see, the will of God is clear if we would go into the word of God to find it. God doesn’t make His will a great mystery we have to solve or consult anyone else other than His word.
The Bible makes clear whatGod wants us to do. There is no misunderstanding of what God wants from us. We come every Sunday to the word of God and then we ignore the will of God. When we stop being rebellious and disobedient we can have the courage to know that God’s grace is sufficient for us in everything and every way.
When we live in the word of God we won’t live outside the will of God. Living in the flesh is expressing that inner desire to live outside the will of God.
Paul did not allow the flesh to determine who he was in Christ. He relied on the Holy Spirit to guide him. the Holy Spirt reminds you of the truth from God word. Zachariah 4:6 reminds us that “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.”
You see God’s will through His word makes you somebody. You can’t be a nobody when you saved by Jesus. You have the authority power and energy of the Holy Spirit.
In the business world they call this synergy which simply means when you combine 2 or more things combine to produce an effect that is greater than there separate effects.
So when we combine God’s Word with God’s will we produce an effect that makes us powerful enough through the power of the Holy Spirit to stand up and stand tall in the face of all of life’s challenges and trials.
Galatians 5:16, ESV: "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh."
The second think we have to do is kneel. Whatever you accomplish in life will come form your knees. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16.
Make time to pray earnestly don’t do a drive by on God. All the power you need you will find on your kneeling. When you get on your knees before God you are in direct communications with God.
When you kneel you it puts you in a position to live in the Spirit and that is to live moment by moment in dependency on God. You become sensitive to His voice and you become more obedient to Him.
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