Paul’s Footsteps #213

Footsteps #213

What does Paul’s experience with the thorn say to us about trials in our Christian experience? How could anyone possibly preach that health & prosperity are guaranteed by the atonement in light of Paul’s experience? Our obsession with blessings relating to this life, such as physical health and material prosperity, flies directly in the face of biblical teaching. Gain is not godliness. Godliness is not a guarantee against the ills of our present world. 

How does the weakness of vs 9&10 make Christ’s power more accessible? It’s simple: when we feel strong and capable we are prone to lean on our own understanding and our own power. But when we come to the end of our rope, the end of our resources, we are much more inclined to turn to God.  

Developing a proper perspective on trouble, trials, and suffering is the cornerstone of Christian living. Focusing all our efforts on removing difficulties is not the answer. Believers need to embrace the trials God allows them to undergo, knowing that those trials reveal their character, humble them, draw them closer to God, and allow Him to display His grace and power in their lives. As James said, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because …” read James.1:2-3. There’s a profound passage about prayer in Romans 8–just prior to the verse that so many glibly repeat–“All things work together for good . . . ,” but that verse is hardly even understandable without what precedes.  “the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness…  we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groaning’s that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us in harmony with God’s own will.” (Rom.8:26,27NLT). What that tells me is that the Holy Spirit intercepts our prayers and re-prays them in accordance with the will of God and God answers the Spirit’s prayer. I always get an answer, but sometimes it’s not what I asked for but what the Spirit asked for. Part 2 TBC

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