Dear Precious Friends,
On this Fill our Soul Sunday, I pray you are embracing the gift of this day & are part of a church family with great Bible based teaching and fellowship with other believers.
We know God's ways are higher than ours and we can never understand in our humanness many things in this life. What we do know is God is faithful, His word is true, His promises are yes and Amen, He works all things together for our good and He loves us so much He sent Jesus to die for us.
I am always encouraged when I read scripture, God's absolute truth and when I think of Paul, who he was, what he did, what God did in his life and how God completely turned his world upside down on the road to Damascus. There is much we can learn from the life of the apostle Paul. Far from ordinary, Paul was given the opportunity to do extraordinary things for the kingdom of God. The story of Paul is a story of redemption in Jesus Christ and a testimony that no one is beyond the saving grace of the Lord. Paul’s early life was marked by religious zeal, brutal violence, and the relentless persecution of the early church & christians. All that changed on the road to Damascus when he encountered the one true God.
The pivotal passage in Paul’s story is Acts 9:1–22, which recounts Paul’s meeting with Jesus Christ on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus, a journey of about 150 miles. Saul was angered by what he had seen and filled with murderous rage against the Christians. Before departing on his journey, he had asked the high priest for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, asking for permission to bring any Christians (followers of “the Way,” as they were known) back to Jerusalem to imprison them. On the road Saul was caught in a bright light from heaven that caused him to fall face down on the ground. He heard the words, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” He replied, “Who are you Lord?” Jesus answered directly and clearly, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting” (verses 4–5).
From that moment on, Saul’s life was turned upside down. Fortunately, the later years of Paul’s life show a marked difference as he lived his life for Christ and for the advancement of His kingdom. He truly lived out " To live is Christ, to die is gain".
So what does it mean that when I'm weak I'm strong and the revelation that in our weakness is our strength...
Paul was doing a great work for the Lord, but God knows the heart of all men and He knew that Paul could become puffed up with pride due to the great revelations that God was giving to the Church through him. The mysteries that Paul was being shown, had been kept hidden for ages and generations but now were being revealed to the saints of God - through Paul. No wonder the Lord gave Paul a thorn in the flesh, which caused him to be tried and tested, beaten and buffeted to the extreme of his endurance.
We do not know the exact nature of Paul's 'thorn', but we do know that God permitted His bond-servant, to experience significant suffering, dangers hardship and rejection, but in it all the Lord gave Paul a message that has been a comfort to countless saints, down through the ages: My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.
Paul repeatedly pleaded with the Lord to have this thorn in his flesh removed, but the reply he received from the Lord Jesus was very different from the answer he had expected, for Paul was told.. that although the Lord would not remove this 'thorn in the flesh, he would be given God's grace to bear it.
Paul was not only able to rejoice in his sufferings but was enabled to glorify in them as well: Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
What a great testimony to the grace of God and the power of Christ - which is made perfect in our weaknesses. No matter what you and I are facing and no matter what tests and trials we may be required to face, we have God's full assurance that His grace is sufficient for all eventualities that may come our say.
May we like Paul be able to boast all the more gladly in our own weaknesses and frailty, so that the power of Christ may rest upon us - to the praise of His name. Hallelujah! Amen!
Heavenly Father, thank You that Your grace is sufficient for all my needs. Help me to recognize and rejoice in the knowledge that Your power is made perfect in my own weakness. Help me to boast all the more gladly in my inabilities, so that Your great ability may be manifest in my life - to Your praise and glory, AMEN.
Source: God's word, Holy Spirit, Daily Verse Devo