Taking pleasure in infirmities, reproaches, persecutions...
2 Corinthians 12:9,10 -
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. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Today when we ask people to talk about themselves the first things they talk about is their giftings / talents and blessings among other things, the things that make them proud as being different from the general crowd. In today's message we find Paul doing the opposite. After a great spiritual struggle with his spiritual thorn which nearly bought Paul to death, we find Paul writing that he takes pride not in his ability but in his weakness.
One of the prime reasons that people become Christians or are Christians is that they want to get blessed with good things in life. They want good life, good health, good relationships, good job, and all the good things one can imagine. In reality it is an irony that Christianity is the opposite of what people think.
One of the fundamental purpose or reasons of being a Christian is to become an overcomer. Now if all things are good then what do Christians overcome to become true Christians?
There are also the other extreme ones who are even bigger fools. These people like problems, persecutions, sicknesses, suffering because they feel one with Christ when they suffer. These people love to remain in their problems, sickness etc. and keep remaining in them and keep suffering. They also make those who suffer the most as saints. Jesus did suffer not for Himself but for us so that we do not suffer. He overcame so that we too overcome. He warned us of troubles ahead not to run away from them but to overcome them like He did.
As Christians we need to become overcomers, that is when there are problems or persecutions we need to confront them and beat them down and have victory over them. We do not run away from problems or infirmities, nor do we remain in them and suffer, letting the problem have victory over us.
One good example is Bro. Nick. He is a Man of God who does not have limbs. All that he has is one very small extension about the length of a finger like a flipper, where his legs are missing. But this disability has not caused him to live in self-pity and not to enjoy life. This man surprises all that he does all his daily chores all by himself. He not only does normal things but other things like he also is a great swimmer.
Like him we too are called to have victory over our carnal nature. We are not called to carnival that have a carn-al fest-ival but to destroy the very roots from where these carnal thought come from. We also are not called to run away from these carnal thoughts (as spiritual children we should do that but not as spiritually mature). We are called to face them like David faced Goliath.
Remember the Lord loves us very much and is always with us. He will not allow us to perish nor send us into battle without giving us all that we need to have victory. Understand the result of the battle is already written. Our victory is already declared by the Lord, so then what is the fear of going into the battle?
Let us be like the Joshua who did not hesitate nor let the natural have an effect over his victory, when the Lord said to him that He had delivered his enemies unto him. Joshua had so much faith that he even told the sun and moon to stay stationary till his victory was obtained and they abided.
In today's message the Lord is not telling us we need to pray for infirmities or persecution but telling us not to run from them. We are not to ask the Lord to take away the problem but we need to crush them and trample over the problems when they come our way and give glory to God. We need to show the world that our God is with us and that makes us unique from everyone else. Above all we need to show Satan we do not fear him or any of his worms for we have them crushed under our feet.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, You are God and Almighty. You called us your children. As children we are to not fear from darkness but like light overcomes darkness we too need to overcome. Lord, You allowed sin to come into man so as to groom man to be an overcomer and have pride in becoming your sons and not been automatically made one by You. You called us to be part of the army of the Heavens ready to battle all evil. Lord, give wisdom and courage to your people to face the areas which You have given unto us to overcome...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
1 John 5:4-5
4 For whatsoever is begotten of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that hath overcome the world, even our faith.
5 And who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
Revelation 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. To him that overcometh, to him will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.
Revelation 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
Revelation 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. To him that overcometh, to him will I give of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and upon the stone a new name written, which no one knoweth but he that receiveth it.
Revelation 2:26 And he that overcometh, and he that keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give authority over the nations:
Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh shall thus be arrayed in white garments; and I will in no wise blot his name out of the book of life, and I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
Revelation 3:12 He that overcometh, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go out thence no more: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God, and mine own new name.
Revelation 3:21 He that overcometh, I will give to him to sit down with me in my throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father in his throne.
Revelation 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit these things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
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