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March 29, 2021 6:00 pm
This morning will do the will talk about what it's like to have power weakness how we navigate our life in such a way that even when we pray for something because let's face it we work we've all been there before me.
How many times have you and I pray for something I will pray for God to move or pray for God to do something powerful. We need a miracle. We need an answer. We need healing we need reconciliation.
We need God to do something and so we pray. But what happens when God is an answer your prayers that we think you should answer what happens when you're exhausted and you pour your heart out to God and you are broken and you feel nothing has only been there before this bilaterally that are there today are we supposed today. The see Paul does this very thing. I love this passage Scripture and second Corinthians chapter 12 order be in verses 7 to 10 this morning because what Paul does eat basely spells out the same exact thing he spells out what it's like to to know that God has allowed something that happened in your life to ask God to remove her from you to ask God to heal and set you free from it to be delivered from it and then God's answer is no. Your delivered that my grace is going to be enough for you so happens in our life.
And that's the answer.
How to be responsive that because of respond the right way. What happens is that we allow that weakness determine the strength we allow Christ to be glorified and magnified in and through her life in such a way that you not only fixing heal your life but you get fixing heal and see God fixing heal the life of people all around us through our very weaknesses. So sorry to hear thing for this chapter 12 will be up on the screen as well, enough lower thirst for you online is as of this place is so to keep me this is Paul writing to the church in Corinth to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this though, to leave me but he said to me, my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ. Then I am contents with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, calamities, the losses for when I am weak that I'm strong the powerful verse as a senator of all been there before. We all pray for God to do something in our life to remove something from our life to heal to deliver to give us an answer. And again. What happens though. What happens we feel so God doesn't cure that or answer the way that he should say in just a few minutes I want to talk to us and give us reports to consider about how we can actually power weakness how we actually turned that maybe that frustration or that that pain. I return that sorrow that disappointment how do we actually turned that so that's actually a power and acknowledges Christ's power life instead of just something or frustrated overall weakness that we have. The point was this .1 God-given thorn will start their this passage is very very fascinating city as we read it again just real quickly. In verses 7 to 10 disruptors. A few of those verses policy, and so to keep me from being conceited because of the great revelations I got from God. A thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan harass me to keep me from becoming conceited… Our Pulsar from Paul starts from this place of recognize that no one is immune to pride.
No one is immune to describe him, even those that are doing great things for God like Paul Paul say it was like I've gotten great revelation from God in order to keep me humble. God has allowed in God's given me a thorn in my flesh to remind me of my weakness, humility, pride. It's amazing to me that even Paul is writing this in Paul's rightness going I want to be prideful so God is allowed this to happen to me.
So even when we do things for God's amazing how quickly you prideful.
It's amazing how quickly a pastor's divorce not careful how prideful you come and be like wow, look at all I've done just a short time and across her leg. Cool the student ministries it's clear it's easy to do that right past negative Malik PhD Mary three kids and have written a book. How awesome am I and we can all do that in areas of her life. Currently it's it's it's it's a hard easy trap to fall into a literature says upright he calls out Gleason 63 it says work. If anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself to recognize who we are. Proverbs 11 Sue says this way when pride comes, then comes disgrace, but would humble comes wisdom to theirs is great humility in knowing where our strength comes from the cycle that thorn for moment thorn in the flesh do notice that that God allowed this or gave us the Paul says thorn what is it in your life that your thorn I want to serve time is to go to deserving this room will your student with a retired what is it in your life right now that you're saying we please do the semiweekly's answer. What is that thorn that God is allowing to happen in your life to God raise up the universal question arrows talk about why the skeletal pain and suffering you have to wise it.
Why is there pain and suffering to happen. So here we have Paul wrote the majority New Testament great men of God and yet even with him.
God allows the storm to happen in his life to the Greek word for thorn. That exit translates to so much like a tent peg a big tent peg that's being driven into them that that's the that's the wording that Paul is using those they stake it's a big peg it's being driven at sharp excuse to point right it's it's it's harmful that Paul says that even though God is allowed this then he brings in the accuser and this is where the enemy does for us, the accuser of your soul.
See then it says that a messenger of Satan. Then comes another words, a messenger of Satan has come to beat Paul down over the storm that we don't know what the thorn in Paul's flesh is never said in Scripture and I think one of the reasons why it's not noted in Scripture, resorting to fixated on the thorn rather we get fixated on the grace of God's given him the strength out of the thorn.
I think the same way our life is in assuming it's so fixated on the problem that we forget that God's grace is sufficient. We get so fixated on the issue at hand or the bad report or the fear, whatever it is that's consuming us and we lose sight that God is bigger.
Come on church, God is bigger than anything they were interfacing life and were not careful.
The enemy wants is give us just looking at the thorn. It's all I want to do. Look at the thorn pay attention for pay attention issue and that's when the enemy of your soul is the whispered things like if God was so powerful, why, why can you remove this from one of God loves you so much, why was he allowing this pain to happen in your life is a breaker those whispers before. So what happens when God whispers back he says my grace is sufficient for you is also fast about this. The Greek word for harassed here very fascinating word that Paul uses. It translates to being hit in the face with a fist.
It translates to be hitting with knuckles hard now again whether or not this is somebody who's actually harassing Paul physically orbits an ailment. He has either way what Paul is saying is that God has given me something that is uncomfortable and it feels like I'm just getting wailed on in the face over and over and over and over again and so our knowledge, God never remove the storm from Paul's flesh. But again, how it were not careful we can spend so much time fixated on the thorn and we feel like the waves you see coming and coming and coming and coming. I think there's pride things in our life and our past, and maybe even your Dula done this morning where you feel like you are just being repeatedly beat up and we feel that way it is beat up the world being the of cultures being young neighbors being young work speeding up kids. He could go on and on and on. At times with the enemy love to do is give us fixated just on the problem. Pay attention to the problem forget that there's a God that's bigger than everything we face to think of recognizing part of the first part of this. Do you recognize this morning where is that point where is the point in your life today that the enemy, the messenger of Satan just whispers in your ear that you're not good enough whispers in your ear, the regrets and the sins of the past whispers in your ear, your weaknesses, that God very much wants to use its strengths, but the enemy just call weakness so we do so now do we do when we know and recognize that maybe there's something in our life that, for whatever reason God is allowing the happen because it's happening your life. Now the enemy of our very soul has seen it has latched onto it and you just feel kind like what Paul says of yours being harassed use via wailed out over and over and over and over again the point where you start to lose faith and trust in God where we go from there… Follow Paulding the first starting point is this the starting point is always prayer always church our starting point for whatever were doing with the life is not to run and try to figure it out ourselves versus not to try to exhaust all of her options is not to try to go in and just do starting point is got to be prayer, Kerry meant somebody. It's gotta be prayer that is where the source of our strength, as that is where our connection is that is where power comes from. That is where wisdom comes from but how often.
Again, we feel.
Maybe you feel betrayed their usual frustrated. Maybe you feel abandoned by God sometimes assumed later. The last thing you want to do is pray pulsars with prayer and sinker. December 12 verse eight it says this way that Paul pleaded with God. Three times for him to take the Stornoway that's terminology pleaded its intimate, it's not partisan flippantly ask God to help Hagar by the way, if you get a chance to really love for you to remove the Stornoway for me. It was much more passionate than that, he cried out to God, he pleaded to God. The terminology use. There is that he was up close and personal God. This is a personal thing that Paul is dealing with and Paul. I was the understands that first starts first that Paul writes his effluvia. Chapter 4 verse 6 to 7 a great reminder in Paul's own words is pretty in the practice. He said do not be anxious about anything, but he says this, but in everything by prayer and supplication. So in all things with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God and this is the result we start with prayer. Listen to this so important when we start with prayer and we give all the requests and thanksgiving to God.
We start there.
The results it says in the peace of God which passes all understanding the peace of God, has understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Soon we start with prayer. It allows God an opportunity to come and to answer and provide peace in our life in a peace that passes all understanding other words, it could be something that you're dealing with right now in your life is very heavy and is very big that you and I have access this piece that actually doesn't make sense at all that it really shouldn't make sense that we had that much peace over this area of our life because this is thorn in our flesh that just gives Javid and Jablon Javid and maybe something horrifically huge in your life but to know that we have peace and there's this tension between faith and frustration is in her there. There is this constant tension between those two things that we can have faith in a row quickly euro frustrated we have faith. This is God I trust you. I believe you. I surrender all, we can go on the whole path that we feel it and mean it and then we euro frustrated… This tension between those two things. Paul thought this tension befell in a huge way since three times. I pray for God to take this away from him.
He didn't do it three times not. I read about that. I really thought you it's Easter week, I think Easter week speaks differently to different people near you, resonate with different things throughout Palm Sunday and throughout the week and get fried in the cross and the empty tomb is a part of the Easter. Hope week that has always stuck out to me and it reminded me greatly. This is those reading this again is when Jesus is alone in the garden you want talk about prayer first, and the results of prayer you go to Jesus in the garden he just betrayed by Judas of Judas is the treasure sleeves and runs out. He brings a few disciples within the go to the garden to stay a little bit for the stone throw away is what the Bible says in and just to stay awake in the Soundgarden in the falling asleep and and Jesus is there in the garden alone then encounter that Jesus and the father has resonate so strongly with me. You see both the humanity side of Jesus and the godly side of juices in the garden and says that he is praying so intently that were most people would say is that he's person blood vessels in the space itself. Intensity is.
Jesus knows that in just a few hours that he's really taken his unity with the to be flogged is a beaten and alternating to hang on across the suffocated that for hours and Jesus in his final moments is pictured is late at night is in the garden and Jesus utters these words that only bring comfort somehow to our situation very similar to Paul were Jesus utters the word to his father to take this cup from him do at that moment. What Jesus was asking, is Jesus asking God for plan B knowing what the cross had in store for Jesus and one final mood and one final conversation with the father.
He looks the father says hey if there's some other way that this can happen right now be a good time for Stefan similar to Paul pleaded with the father. But then Jesus quickly turns the narrative. When Jesus says, but not my will be done, but your will be done. There's this surrendering and peace that happens when we pray effect elsewhere in Scripture says that for the joy set before him. Jesus endured the cross, the cross in the process of him going and die on the cross was on a joyful experience of what is the joy with the joy is knowing the why understanding the plan of the father has was joyful. So Paul very much like Jesus in the same way pleads and begs for God to take this away from God's response is probably not what Paul wanted. Ms. Frazier 35 point this morning is this that is power in weakness, power, weakness, hang with just a few minutes I want to bring this home this morning. Such a powerful way for you for all of us of how we can actually find power weakness of just track your story in your journey to something in your life that you're praying for your wondering where God is why God is an answer is not answering the way that maybe you think you should answer and we fixate on the thorn fixate on the problem, it becomes a very much a weakness in our life and the stumbling block and frustration or or we allow God to make it a strength.
This is this when second Corinthians chapter 12 is two verses nine and 10. This is God's response to Paul Sandler take this away from. He says my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
So then pauses with and therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness. Set the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then I am contents in my weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, calamities, is the line that we all know, for when I am weak that I'm strong.
So again, what happens what happens when we pray God is an answer. The way we hope what happens. We pray for God to heal and God doesn't heal what happens. We pray for an answer for miracle we feel like it's not being answered. The way that it answers to got an answer. Paul in the way that he pry one answer, God did not remove the thorn but instead instead of focusing on the thorn God focuses on his grace, and in his grace. There's also power see the important of God's grace see couple things about God's grace that I think equip us the turnoffs so weakness into a strength to turn the thorn into a testimony, is that God's grace.
It's unending. It never ends wherever you're going through today. It's not as though God's grace is going to end a week from now a month from now or five years from now God's grace is always powerful is unending. God's grace is sufficient. In other words, if at the end of the day. God does not answer your prayer or your need, or that miracle in the way that you wanted. Can you and I stand with our heads held high. Acknowledging that God's grace is sufficient even in the time of pain even in the time of sorrows God made us where we are seekers. God's grace. It's exactly what we need when we needed God knows our needs affect the Scripture says that God knows if he cares about the birds of the air and don't you think he knows and recognizes what you need. God knows what we need is great steps in with those needs. It's God's way of saying that is with you and that is got you last week we talked about God's got it many your circumstance, but we also know that God's grace is that he has you. You just tissue your circumstance your life. Everything about you. He has you and when you and I are completely dependent on God's grace in our life. It's that that point that his power can work through us is at that point that Paul heard that he said okay.
My grace is sufficient for you, and also located within Hayden and then Grayson then let my weakness become a power let my weakness become a power like Christ be magnified and glorified through my weaknesses. It's about turning those thorns in the strengths it's about turning that contentment of the testimonies in our life.
We can say this is who I know God is despite the thorn despite the circumstances. But it was going on in my life or the world around me that there is strength in knowing that we are weak before God's was that I want to close a certain weighted Outlook field to stand with me this morning and stand your feet.
I want to walk us through this a few questions there at the end Eller pray just for you or pray for you because right now a few right now are going through something I'm you know you praying with your something in the future, and it might be something bigger might be something small but chances are the spry lot of you that are praying for God for something for something and maybe you're at the point. Or maybe you've already passed the point we kinda given up even on prayer anymore so he got afraid. Afraid. Afraid God in answer.
I guess God doesn't care or is it that God is a sin know my grace is sufficient for you, that's an error in your life that I actually want to become strong in the Laura let my strength, and there so here's a couple question… To close your eyes for a moment… Think about this.
The first one is simply this one are things in your life right now where there's one thing are many things that you are praying for, for God to answer take away show up or to perform a miracle in single there for a moment just in your life, what are you praying for word you need God to show up the second part of that is this.
Are you willing to release that allow God's grace the cover you in that area. Are you willing today to surrender that to God, your frustrations, your hopelessness, discouragement, even your good things, the hopes you have for the future. Your dreams you on this morning just submit that to God for God. However, you answer your grace is sufficient.
However, you answer this need. I have your grace is sufficient for me and one final thought to question on a pray in what ways can you see whatever you're going through now becoming a strength in glorifying Jesus. In other words, how do you allow whatever you're going through today to become a strength to allow God to say, I've got you I got this. How can Christ be glorified through said think we start thinking that way and also than just the attention off of thorn get the attention on the God of the universe and whether God answers your for requesting the way you think he is or not does not make God wrong and that does not mean he doesn't love you, doesn't mean is not answering your prayer. It's kind of one of those things it's either going to make you better, or it's gonna make you bitter and then their lives to make your struggles make you bitter. God wants to use in the making better solar pray for you right now got right now we come before you as a congregation here in online and lower recognize that there's things in our life right now today that we are dealing with their something in this room that everybody's praying for and can be something that seemingly is small and it can be something that is so huge that God they have no idea how and what the answers gonna look like salute at the end of it.
Although we just pray that you would allow us to trust that we can say that however you choose to answer our prayers that we could say that your grace is sufficient for me. Your grace is enough in saying that we can then allow those areas of weakness. Those areas of sorrow and disappointment that God that you can turn those in the strengths in our life that we could actually become better and stronger now for our own sake, but Christ that you are magnified through an select pray as we search our hearts even again.
Right now the end of this morning that you would speak in the pool for your Holy Spirit. Those things of the surface of our life for us to recognize for us to surrender to you again because guy we want you to be magnified in all that we do doesn't mean that the journey is not self. It does mean is not painful, it doesn't mean is not gut wrenching, but I pray that you allow us to keep our eyes focused on you and that we would truly live like your grace is sufficient force in Jesus name, amen