2 Cor 11:23-29
"in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft."
The Apostle Paul goes on to describe all of the things he suffered while trying to obey and serve God. Read the rest of the verses from 24-29. How could he have endured all that stuff?
This year is coming to a close. What challenges and heartaches have you experienced while trying to obey and serve God? What did you have to suffer for His name sake?
In an earlier blog post, I mentioned that all who live in obedience to God, WILL, not might, WILL SUFFER something. It's never easy, but God finds it necessary because He knows how to get the glory out of our lives.
I'm learning more and more about this thing called, 'Grace'. God's grace is more than the saving grace we received from the hand of His son. There is 'Grace' that enables you and I to endure whatever God sends our way. That enabling 'Grace' is what I find myself praying for more and more. There use to be a point in time when I told God I didn't want His Grace. I wanted to be excused from the trial. I wanted out!
MY SOUL LOOKS BACK AND WONDERS HOW I GOT OVER...(old Gospel song sung by Aretha Franklin when she was singing Gospel).
As 2017 comes to a close, I am thankful for God's enabling 'Grace' that has given me the strength and fortitude to endure afflictions, testings and trials. No year has been complete without them, fortunately. I can say, 'Fortunately' as oppose to 'Unfortunately', because God has given me a glimpse into what He is doing in my life. I am receiving more clarity on my purpose, along with finer details of why I continue to exist on this planet. Those finer details have been etched a little clearer due to trials and afflictions.
The Apostle Paul experienced the same. One would say that being imprisoned, and being on boats, in order to stand before one political figure after another, etc, was a hindrance to his ministry in that, it took him away from helping the local churches. God saw it differently. Paul's imprisonment allowed him to testify of Christ to people high up in government and people in power. That was a needful thing.
The more we listen to God, the clearer things become. God gives the clarity to discern how He is handling us. The more we listen, the more we'll come to learn and understand.
Only God can enable you and I to suffer and endure disappointment, hardships, injustices, trials and afflictions. Without His 'Grace' we wouldn't be able to make it through!
What victories can you claim for 2017? How has God's enabling 'Grace' brought you through some stuff?
By His Grace, may we move forward into 2018 with a determination to trust and obey Him just a little bit more.