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The Strength We Need - Part 2 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
The Truth Network Radio
April 2, 2022 8:00 pm

The Strength We Need - Part 2 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.

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April 2, 2022 8:00 pm

For when I am weak, then am I strong...

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The Baptist Bible Hour now comes to you under the direction of Elder LeSaire Bradley, Jr. O for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise! The glories of my God and King, the triumphs of his grace!

This is LeSaire Bradley, Jr. inviting you to stay tuned for another message of God's sovereign grace. Praise thy faithfulness, O God my Father! There is no shadow of turning with thee, Thou dangerous God, thy compassions they fail not, As thou hast been, thou forever will be. Praise thy faithfulness, praise thy faithfulness, Morning by morning new mercies I see, All I have needed thy hand hath provided, Praise thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

Summer and winter and spring dine at harvest, Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above, Joy with all nature in manifold witness, Through thy great faithfulness, mercy and love. Praise thy faithfulness, praise thy faithfulness, Morning by morning new mercies I see, All I have needed thy hand hath provided, Praise thy faithfulness, Lord unto me! Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, My only presence to cheer and to cry, Stay for today and write up for tomorrow, Blessings all mine with ten thousand retired, Praise thy faithfulness, praise thy faithfulness, Morning by morning new mercies I see, All I have needed thy hand hath provided, Praise thy faithfulness, Lord unto me! I encourage you to write and let us know that you have listened to the broadcast. We depend on our listeners for support.

Our mailing address is Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. We continue today with the message entitled, The Strength We Need, the text, 2 Corinthians, chapter 12, verse 7. Unless I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. We first considered that pride is a problem, and secondly that suffering is the remedy. We don't like to think in those terms, but God uses our sufferings to bring us to the point that we recognize our weakness and know that we must get our strength from Him. And then we will want to consider that grace is the blessing, God's grace, the grace that was personally promised by our Savior, Jesus Christ. And then we consider that weakness is the benefit. As strange as that may sound, that's the way God works in our life to bring us to the point of knowing our weakness.

And the last point of consideration is that strength is the result, but it's the strength that we receive from Jesus Christ. Now it's generally thought that much suffering has to be the result of sin, and that's what Job's friends, miserable comforters they were, assumed when they came to talk to Job. Job, there has to be some deep, dark sin that you haven't confessed.

This is why you're suffering. Job knew better. In fact, God said in the beginning, Job was an upright man.

Job gave a good testimony, set a good example. So it was not because of his sin. So when people make that assumption, if a person is suffering, it must be that they are suffering because of their sin.

It is an incorrect conclusion. Now, it can be because of sin. Sometimes a person suffers the consequences of their own actions because of their rebellion against God and their suffering as a result of it.

But all suffering is not in that category. It can be because of our disobedience as children of God. It's to teach us and prepare us for His service. Hebrews chapter 12 talks about chastisement. We read, beginning in verse 5, And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as children. My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him, for whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Chastisement is a sign of love. Oh, I know that's hard for us to grasp. I remember as a little child, my father had to apply the rod, and he'd say, this hurts me worse than it does you.

And in my mind, I was thinking, I don't believe a word. I was the one feeling the pain. But when I became a father, I could understand exactly what he meant. But you see, chastening is a result of the fact God loves us. And He scourges every son who he receives.

That word scourging is talking about a whip with a strap. His chastening can be very severe, very painful, very hurtful. And during those times, we may wonder, where is the Lord? Has the Lord cling on forever?

Has He forgotten about me? But we're reminded it's because He loves us. Verse 7, If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as sons, for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not? So the fact that you're being chastened is an evidence of sonship.

It's something to be thankful for. If God just left you alone to go your own way, there'd be no evidence that you even belong to Him. But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons. You're not really a son. You're not really one of His.

If you're never chastened. Verse 9, Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence. Now notice, it's assumed that fathers will correct their children. Fathers who fail to do that are coming far short of their God-given responsibility.

And it's assumed that we gave them reverence. Oh, in this day and time, there are so many children that fail to respect and give reverence to their parents. They've got the idea, well, if I don't agree with what my parents are imposing on me, I think it's too restrictive. It's just not right.

They'll be very sassy, and their language is certainly without respect. So fathers have the responsibility to discipline their children, and children have the responsibility to show reverence to their parents, even though they disagree with them, even though they might come to the conclusion, well, there's something wrong with my parents. They're not the best parents around.

I've got problems with them. Well, when he says, Honor thy father and mother, he didn't say, Honor thy father and mother if they're perfect. You honor them even in spite of their imperfections. Shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the father of spirits and live? So if we were respectful of our earthly parents when they disciplined us, should we not rather be respectful of our Heavenly Father when he disciplined us? Verse 10, For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure, simply meaning the best they knew how.

It doesn't mean that it was always perfect. Sometimes a father may discipline a child out of anger instead of out of love, that he wants to accomplish what is for their good. But he, that is God, when he chastens us, it's for our profit that we might be partakers of his holiness.

So the whole purpose behind this suffering is that we might learn something, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous but grievous. When I read that I always think of one of my little grandsons, he's just a little tyke, and his mother, I think, was spanking him with her hand that he had on some heavy clothes, and he said, Mom, it's just not working.

You're going to have to get the spatula. He wasn't feeling any pain, and if he's going to be spanked, he ought to. Well, I doubt that any of us have ever said, Lord, this chastisement I'm getting is not tough enough.

Make it worse. It doesn't seem joyous, but it's grievous. It's painful.

They like to get out of it. Nevertheless, afterward, it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. So suffering is a necessary part of the Christian experience. And then in this text we see that grace is the blessing. God's answer, verse 9, And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

God gave Paul a promise. My grace is sufficient for thee. God's grace.

What a wonderful thing. We know that salvation is by grace. Ephesians 1, 6 says, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accept it in the will of it. Verse 7, In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace. Isn't that wonderful that you have the forgiveness of sin?

When you once see your sin, when you're once convicted of it, when you're once cast down by it, and then to realize I can't retrace my steps, I cannot undo what I've done, but I can be forgiven. And that's why Christ died, that we might have the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace. Ephesians 2, 8 and 9 says, For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast. But some might say, well, yes, I was saved by grace, and think that's something of the past, but I want to tell you grace is needed for the entire journey of life.

I never get to the place to say I've outgrown my need for grace. It's been said that God in his grace gives us what we do not deserve, and in his mercy he does not give us what we do deserve. And so we can be thankful for grace and know that we ought to praise God for it on a daily basis.

The word is used 155 times in the New Testament, and there is an abundant supply of it. John 1 16 says, And of his faithfulness have, and of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. So you receive grace, and that's not the end of the line. More grace is coming. Grace for grace. You needed grace in the salvation of your soul, but you need grace every day to overcome sin and to live righteously in God in this present world. You need grace to deal with your trials, your sufferings, your heartaches, your disappointments. So he gives us grace for grace. Then in 2 Peter 5 10, he refers to himself as the God of all grace, but the God of all grace who hath called you unto his eternal glory.

That's a wonderful thing to think about. You've been called to eternal glory. Things may look bleak at the moment, but you look out ahead. By the grace of God, you're called unto eternal glory by Jesus, by Christ Jesus. After you've suffered a while, here comes suffering again. After you've suffered a while, make the perfect, established, strengthened, settled you. To him be glory and dominion forever and ever.

Amen. Yes, the suffering is a part of experience, and we need grace in it all. His throne is described as the throne of grace, Hebrews 4 16. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. You're not coming to the bar of justice.

You're not coming asking to be rewarded on the basis of anything you deserve. You're coming to the throne of grace, and you're coming there to obtain mercy and find the grace that you so desperately need. His word is referred to as the word of grace.

Paul was leaving the brethren, as recorded in Acts chapter 20, to go on his way. Verse 32 says, And now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance for them which are sanctified. So as we return to God's word, returning to the word of his grace, and then James chapter 4 verse 6, you may think, well, I know I've received an abundance of grace, and I'd better not ask God for any more. No, he keeps giving it. But he giveth more grace, for he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.

He keeps giving it. Isn't that amazing? And isn't it something for which we should thank God every day? Not just think, yes, I experienced grace in the saving of my soul, but then give little thought to it after that. Continue to thank him and praise him for his marvelous grace. And then next we see that weakness is the benefit.

Now that sounds strange. That's a paradox indeed. Why should weakness be a benefit? Well, having received the gift of the thorn, he is humble. He knows his own weakness.

2 Corinthians 12, 7 says, There was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan, to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. Verse 9, my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, will I glory in my infirmities. My strength is made perfect in weaknesses. There are many promises to those who are weak. Isaiah 40, verse 29, He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might, he increases strength. You don't just come before the Lord and say, Lord, I'm having a bad day. I need a little help for the moment.

I think I'll be able to get over the next one. No, those that have no might, Lord, I come to you in absolute weakness. I need you desperately. I must have your strength, and to such he increases strength. 1 Corinthians chapter 1, verse 27, He says that he hath chosen the weak things and the foolish things of this world to confound the wise, and they've chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty.

Why is this? Why is God pleased to use those who have a sense of weakness? He does it, according to verse 29, that no flesh should glory in his presence.

God's not going to bless so that somebody can have a great name and be popular and be recognized. He works, in a way, using the weak things, the humble things, those that are weak in themselves that no flesh should glory in his presence. So weakness is a benefit.

Say, well, I never thought of it in that light. Well, we don't in our natural thinking, but here's what we learn in God's Word, that when we're weak and we know it, we're in a position to be used of God. So finally, strength is the result. The strength we need.

We need strength. Jesus said unto him, My strength is made perfect in weakness. So it's not your strength that you finally build up and accomplish. It's his strength. As long as you're trying to go in your strength, you're leaning on the arm of the flesh, whether it's your arm or somebody else's arm, you can rest assured the arm of flesh will fade you. But the strength you need is his. So for that reason, Paul says, Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Now, that certainly seems contradictory to what our human nature would think. I say, why would I glory in my infirmities?

Well, Paul says, that's what I do, because it's there that the power of Christ will rest upon me. The strength we need, then, is not something that comes by strong determination. Oh, I can get through this. I come from a stock of strong people. We know how to cope with difficulties, and I want to grit my teeth and make it. It's not by believing in yourself.

I was talking to a man one time who had been in a recovery program, and I said, I'm interested to know, when you went to the classes, what did they tell you? He said, well, the big lesson I got is you've just got to believe in yourself. I said, well, I thought that's how you got in this mess, was believing in yourself. You decide you're going to do what you want to do, no matter what. Believing in yourself is not the answer.

It's not a matter of, say, I'm just going to have a stiff upper lip and make it on. No, the strength we need is that which comes from Jesus Christ. John 15 and verse 5, these are the words of Jesus. I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit, for without me ye can do what?

Nothing. You can't say, well, I believe I can do some things. I don't have to pray about everything. I don't have to depend on God for everything. Well, when you do those things, you're not honoring him. It's when you abide in him. He that abideth in me and I in him, when we're abiding in Christ and Christ is in us, then we bring forth much fruit, because without him we can do nothing that's worthwhile, nothing that's profitable, nothing that is God-honoring. So Paul says in Philippians 4, 13, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Now that doesn't mean you become omnipotent. It means that whatever things need to be done, those duties that are yours in life, your obligation to your family, to your church, to one another, your obligation to serve God on a daily basis, whatever it may be, whatever is required and expected, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Back to the 12th chapter of 2 Corinthians, the 10th verse says, Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake, for when I am weak, then am I strong, totally contrary to the popular thinking of the world.

It doesn't make sense. When I'm strong, that's when I'm strong. No, the Apostle Paul says it's when I'm weak that I'm strong.

So what a blessing to be anticipated. You feel weak, you know your weakness, you know you're struggling with doubts and fears and difficulties. It may be physical weakness as well as spiritual weakness or mental weakness or whatever it is. But when I'm weak, then I'm strong because in my weakness I go to the Lord and totally acknowledge it. Lord, I have no strength.

I am set up to your mercy. Let us all take with us these words of Jesus when we leave here today. My grace, says Jesus. These are the words of Jesus. All those special words like when he says, come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.

The words that fell from the lips of Jesus. And these are words from Jesus. My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength, not yours, my strength is made perfect in weakness. So whatever your situation may be at the moment, Jesus' word to you is, my grace is sufficient.

And if you're one who has come to the point of knowing I am a sinner justly condemned before God, I need to have my sins washed away, I need salvation. Let me tell you, His grace is sufficient. His grace is sufficient to save the chief of sinners. And as Jesus says, come unto me, you come to Him by faith, He believeth on the Son, hath everlasting life. So let us put it deep into our minds and hearts to remember the words of Jesus, my grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

Whenever you need a friend who is all wise, on whom you can depend, he satisfies. Christ satisfies us all when He has full control. On him your burdens roll, Christ satisfies. Thank you for listening today.

I'm glad that you've been with us. And may we all bear in our mind the truth of this text that we've considered and find hope and courage as we go forward remembering my grace, says Jesus, is sufficient. So whatever the situation you face at the moment, if you feel overwhelmed with the troubles of life, remember His words, my grace is sufficient.

Till next week at the same time, may the Lord richly bless you all. Christ satisfies us all when He has full control. On him your burdens roll, Christ satisfies.

Nothing of earth is sure, they hope to die. The Baptist Bible Hour has come to you under the direction of Elder LeSaire Bradley, Jr. Address all mail to the Baptist Bible Hour, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. That's the Baptist Bible Hour, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. Christ satisfies the soul when He has full control. On him your burdens roll, Christ satisfies.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-12 19:54:42 / 2023-05-12 20:04:11 / 9

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