Weakness or strength?

February 6, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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.
(2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV))

Do you ever feel weak?

Do you like that feeling? Do you want to feel that way? Do you like to be thought of as being weak?

If you are like me, and probably all of the rest of humanity, you like to feel like you have everything under control. You like to feel like you are in charge and capable of handling whatever is thrown your way.

Do you realize that it is this very nature that has convicted us of sin. It is pride! It is the very same thing that brought Satan down. It is the attitude that we can take care of ourselves and that we don’t need anyone to help us that too many people never get over. It is this very thing that causes too many people to never seek salvation, grace and mercy.

I admit that I am weak.

I admit that I can’t do it on my own, even though there are times that I may come across as strong. Perhaps I should change that from strength to arrogance.

What is human strength in the grand scheme of things? Can it bring salvation? can it bring peace? Can it bring joy? Our understanding of strength will not bring any of these things. Our understanding of strength is a false facade that we hide behind in hopes that no one will see our true selves.

Only through surrendering to Jesus allows us to be strong, for we acknowledge our weakness and embrace His strength.

What do you embrace?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is your thorn an excuse or is it your foundation of faith?

August 27, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me 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.
(2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (NIV))

Have you ever wondered what it was that Paul had to put up with, just what it was that Satan used to torment him?

I find it very interesting and intriguing that the man whom God chose to spread the Gospel to the gentiles was given an affliction that too many of us would have simply said was too overwhelming. We would have simply given up if we had to face the “thorn in my flesh” that Paul faced.

All too often I find myself making excuses instead of doing what I know I should do. It is so much easier to make excuses than it is to obey. What a shame! I know that I miss out on many blessings and opportunities simply because I find excuses. Don’t get me wrong. There are times when I don’t make excuses, but the times that I do make excuses weigh heavily upon me. I find myself thinking about Paul and ask myself a simple question. What would the world be like today if Paul had allowed his “thorn” to stop him?

By God’s grace, Paul listened to God and we, as Christians, can trace our faith back to Paul’s obedience. God gave Paul the strength to see things through in spite of his thorn. He did not remove the thorn. If a perfect person could spread the Gospel to the gentiles, why would they believe? He would simply be another man who could speak eloquently. God used Paul’s thorn to keep Paul focused on Him, to keep him dependent upon Him.

What is your thorn? Is it an excuse or is it your foundation of faith?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Give praises to the Lord

June 27, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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.
(2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV))

Have you ever heard of anyone boasting about being weak?

This is not typical human behavior!

People boast about being the best, or being the strongest, but never do you hear of anyone boasting about being weak. Let’s face it, human nature makes us want to look good in the eyes of those around us. We want to show off, and what self-respecting showoff would claim to be weak? It just isn’t heard of.

When we have competitions, we crown the best as the winners. We have games where grown men and women compete to see who is the best. We even give awards to those who win. In all of this, do you ever hear someone say that they are too weak to compete?

I will be honest. There are those who profess that they owe their abilities to God, yet, for the most part, in these competitions, they are the exception.

Why did Paul boast that he is weak?

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me 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.
2 Corinthians 12:7-8 (NIV)

Paul, even though he was chosen by God to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles, had a physical affliction. Some have even suggested that he suffered from seizures. Paul, regardless of the physical issues, was used powerfully by God. He did not allow his physical limitations to keep him from fulfilling the call that God placed upon his life. He recognized the limitations and, more importantly, he recognized that God was using him in spite of the limitations.

Paul answered God’s call even in the midst of his own problems!

Would we do that?

How many times have we neglected God’s call upon our lives because we felt limited and incapable? How many times have we failed to realize that we would not be the ones doing that task? How many times have we failed to answer even when we had Paul as our example?

I know that I am guilty of this more times than I care to admit, still it is my desire to answer that call.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
(Isaiah 6:8 (NIV))

Are we willing to respond in this manner? Are we willing to overlook our weaknesses when God calls? Are we willing to step out in faith and acknowledge that it is God’s strength and not our weakness that is in charge?

I have a challenge for you.

God has a calling upon each of us. Step out to meet that calling. When wondrous things happen, boast that it is not you.

Give praises to the Lord.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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