Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Can it get worse?

Just when you think it cannot get any worse, It can, and may, but that is just the beginning, for the best, that's coming! II Corinthians 12:7-10
Most people never want to hear, it may get worse, before it gets better. When it does, what we learn and how we handle it, is important!

The Apostle Paul, whom we all use as an example, suffered with discouragement. He wanted God to take away his suffering. Yet, for Paul to learn and appreciate God's plan, he had to suffer a torment, a thorn in the flesh. He had to learn and appreciate God's wonderful gift of grace. Some would say that is not a very good gift to have. I would say then, you have not experienced the wonderful Grace of God!

Suffering is part of life. We don't like it, we do not want to experience it, yet it is there! If not us personally, it around us and around the world. From earthquakes, to Tornado's to Hurricanes, pestilence, starvation, many things. Whatever it is, it still affects our lives in some way, and makes us uncomfortable, and we do not like discomfort!

So why then does God do this, or allow these things to exist? That is always the million dollar question, in which there is no clear cut answer. Is it sin caused yes? Is it God allowed? Yes. Why? I believe it is to know God in a more intimate way. To draw us, either to Him, or use it as an excuse to run from Him. Too blame Him instead of turning to Him in our time of need to learn and appreciate grace!

The Apostle Paul's explanation, I feel drives it home.

 "And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He (God) said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." 
Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 

Wow! What a statement to make, when I am weak then I am strong! It is through our weakness and suffering at times that God shines forth.

It is not always a punishment. It is many times a character building tool. A tool that drives us to God, to know Him more personally, more intimately, a relationship with Him, we may not have had accept through some suffering. Any Addict, any cancer survivor, anyone who may have suffered abuse, whatever form, will all tell you, when they came to know Jesus, and their lives still took downward spirals, they would never want life any other way!

A tough life with Jesus, is far better than what they had before Him. They, we all, who have been there, will tell you, a life without Christ, is in far worse shape than anything we could go through with Him. His grace is sufficient, His love overwhelming, and the humility, to understand that life still goes on regardless. A faith rooted in Christ, will never be toppled!