Tuesday, April 28, 2009

How God Uses Suffering--John MacArthur

In pursuit of really understanding a passage of the Bible I have been researching 2 Corinthians 12, particularly verses 9 & 10.

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 weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Here is my latest "find" from a message by John MacArthur published on Grace to You:

Through the suffering and the terrible depression and sorrow of unfulfillment and broken heartedness in which Paul was literally being shaped, he learned five great lessons:

~God uses suffering to reveal our spiritual condition.
~God taught Paul that He uses suffering to humble us.
~God uses suffering to draw us to Himself.
~God uses suffering to perfect His power.
~God uses suffering to display His grace.

And so God says I'm not going to remove that [the thorn], the process isn't over, but what I am going to do is increase the grace so that you can endure it.
...you're never going to know the exhilaration of it [the sufficiency of grace] and you're never going to know the thrill of it unless you can just rest in the suffering and let God pour out the grace. And you find yourself singing at the strangest places and times and you'll find a peace in your heart that knows no explanation and you find a joy that's disconnected from your circumstances because this grace is an energy that transforms. It's not in itself a static gift. Grace is an energy that chooses you. It's an energy of being flooded with blessing from God that alters your thinking...changes you, transforms you.

The last bit is what spoke to me the most. I have no desire to rest in the suffering. I don't want to suffer at all. But I have experienced that energy called grace from God in difficult times & I want to exist there. Always. And if that means suffering, well, I need to learn to be there. To trust God way more than I do when I hurt. To run to Him when I am disappointed. Even in Him.

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