I have been struggling with an inordinate amount of pain, every day, sometimes unbearably. I’ve cogitated on how God can be glorified, or how Jesus can be reflected through me, when I can barely do the most basic things for myself. I don’t know from day to day if I’ll even be vertical, and sometimes going without a shower because the water really does hurt. Yeah, weird. But I try to stop thinking about myself, and look up. The expression, “chin up,” means to me to get my head out of dark places, and focus on the God of my salvation.
Paul’s thorn was a daily reminder of his dependence on the Lord. In fact, He is glorified in our weakness.
Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
“By the grace of God, one day at a time.”
Paul knew he could never meet the challenges he faced in his own strength. But through experience he had developed the faith to trust God for the outcome. An impossible goal brought into perspective through faith.
Amen! I read the following today from Christians on Facebook and felt it needed to be part of this post.
Thus it is, that in the children of God, repentance and faith exactly answer each other. By repentance we feel the sin remaining in our hearts, and cleaving to our words and actions: by faith, we receive the power of God in Christ, purifying our hearts, and cleansing our hands. By repentance, we are still sensible that we deserve punishment for all our tempers, and words, and actions: by faith, we are conscious that our Advocate with the Father is continually pleading for us, and thereby continually turning aside all condemnation and punishment from us. By repentance we have an abiding conviction that there is no help in us: by faith we receive not only mercy, “but grace to help in” every “time of need. Repentance disclaims the very possibility of any other help; faith accepts all the help we stand in need of, from him that hath all power in heaven and earth. Repentance says, “Without him I can do nothing;” Faith says, “I can do all things through Christ strengthening me.” Through him I can not only overcome, but expel, all the enemies of my soul. Through him I can “love the Lord my God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength;” yea, and “walk in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of my life.”