I see you. All of you. The areas where you shine as well as those deep places of hurt, shame, fear, and hopelessness. I know every hair on your head. I know every thought before you even think it. Your late night tears are not lost on Me. I have seen each and every one of them. I see your pain and discomfort. I know the deepest desires of your heart. I am Sovereign. Rest in knowing I am your Heavenly Father. You are loved deeply and I desire communion with you. I know you may be angry. I understand you are frustrated. But come to Me. I will be the peace amongst the chaos. I will be the wind that moves your forward when you have nothing left to give. I will protect you with My mighty right hand. No trial or temptation will overcome you, for I have placed within you exactly what is needed to walk through the fiery trials of life. Promises of God
There are times in each of our lives where we must stand on the promises of God while everything around seems to be otherwise. The ground may feel as though it is crumbling beneath us while the waves are engulfing us. It causes us to be completely disoriented. The daily struggle can easily leave us feeling hopeless and frustrated. How do you ask for what you need, when no one (including yourself) actually knows what to ask or knows the answers?
It is a predicament that often leaves us paralyzed. We become stuck. Where do we go from here? It is in these moments of despair, we must meditate on the Promises of God. His word is absolute! As much as our illness, relationships, family, or work may change, He remains the same. He is the rock upon which we are to stand during these difficult seasons of life.
“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 content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Paul(the author of 2 Corinthians) shares profound wisdom within these verses. He speaks from a place of experience. He knows what it is like to be innocent and yet treated wrongly. He was beaten and stoned. He was thrown in jail yet still found a reason to sing and pray to Christ. He found himself ship wrecked with little hope of escaping. He was snake bitten, and possibly suffered from a chronic ailment. Paul referred to it as a thorn in his flesh. If we read the verse prior to the ones above, it says,“Three times I begged the Lord to take it away (the thorn in Paul’s flesh).” 2 Cor 12:8.
In context, Paul was pleading with the Lord to be released from this affliction. Maybe Paul did not specify his affliction so that we could each relate to a thorn in our own life. Your thorn doesn’t have to be illness. It can be anything in your life that you are unable to conquer with your own strength. God’s response to Paul was, “My Grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness.” God didn’t remove the thorn but rather exemplified His power within Paul. So much so, Paul could brag of his own weakness because he was completely submitted to Christ. He concluded he would boast and take credit for the mighty acts of God had the thorn been removed. For him, it was a reminder of his own humanity.
It is important to understand while all of these afflictions were happening to Paul, he was directly in the will of God. His suffering was not in vain though. God used every hardship Paul encountered as an avenue to spread the gospel. Many times in our life, God uses our circumstance to draw us closer to Him. Sometimes the cold jail cell is the very place God chooses to transform our hearts and minds. We may not understand this side of heaven the “Why”, but we do know the “Who”. No matter how far we stray, He remains the answer to each and every circumstance. If we are willing, He can use our brokenness to reveal His goodness. Even when we walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, we will not fear. For He is always with us.
If you are feeling defeated, weak, angry, insufficient, depressed, anxious or broken, know today that your weakness is not necessarily your downfall. It can actually become your strength when you allow Christ to transform you into His image. You want to see strength in the midst of the storm? Call out to Him. You may have to walk through the fire, but you will come out unscathed. He is with you every step of the way.