STRENGTH IN STILLNESS
(2 Corinthians 12:8-10 NLT)
I have to admit that I am not a happy camper when things go wrong in my life. Even something minor like a flat tire can cause me to have feelings of anxiety, frustration, and yes-even anger. On the other hand Paul demonstrates a far different approach to life’s struggles when he wrote, “…I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.9 Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong”. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NLT)
How about you? What is your reaction when troubles pour into your life? It is impossible to sail through life for very long until something turns your life upside down and dumps you into the turbulent sea of calamity. So, what should your attitude be when hardships and tragedies crash into your life? Paul said he took pleasure when his body was tormented with pain and when he was personally insulted or when hardships, persecutions, and troubles came into his life. How can he say this? Was he a super Christian far superior to you? No, I don’t think so. For the Gospels he authored reveal that he was just like you with all the same human failings you possess. But, Paul did understand something that you may not have grasped yet in your walk with your Savior.
Paul, at this point in his life, had grown so close to Christ that he knew, without a doubt, that God was in control of everything in this world He created. Paul also understood that his Creator and Savior had a purpose for everything that came into his life. First, Paul was able to thank his Lord when Satan tormented him. Second, Paul accepted Jesus’ promise that His grace was all he needed. Third, Paul understood that God’s power was demonstrated best when he was his weakest.
It is easy to read and understand when Jesus says, “My grace is all you need.” But, how do you accept and apply this truth to your life? The answer is simple, yet it is easy for you to miss it. In fact you can see that the Israelites had a hard time practicing this heaven sent principal. “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it.”( Isaiah 30:15 NLT) All the strength you need to overcome life’s struggles comes from the Lord when your quietness demonstrates your complete confidence in Him. Sometimes the Lord uses an accident or sickness to provide you with an opportunity to be quiet before Him. Do you thank God for these intimate opportunities? Or do you spoil these quiet hours by wishing them away while waiting impatiently to be active again.
Some of God’s greatest works have been accomplished from sick beds and prison cells. Search to find God’s way for your life when you are in the midst of His ordained stillness.
Although you may feel cut off from the activity of the world, your quiet trustful stillness provides a powerful opportunity to replace your weakness with God’s strength.