HOW DO I GET FROM GRIEF TO GLORY?

20130722-115822.jpg Read the following portion of Scripture carefully:

 

2 Corinthians 12:6-10 (KJV) 6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but [now] I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me [to be], or [that] he heareth of me. 7 And lest 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. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 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. 10 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.

 

So how do I get from grief to glory? The Apostle Paul certainly had his share of infirmities. Losing friends, health, freedom, and nearly losing his life on multiple occasions. It’s quiet obvious that his “thorn” was somewhat grievous to him. Why else would he seek the Lord’s deliverance from it? Yet at the end of this passage, Paul makes it known that he now views these “infirmities” as new avenues to glory. Let’s consider a few things:

1. MY INFIRMITIES

 

INVISIBLE KINGDOM Every trial or battle we face is a struggle for control. You see, the real kingdom to be won or lost resides in you! Luke 17:21 (KJV) Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Do you surrender your belief in God with every infirmity? Of course not! But the question still remains: who’s going to rule? You? Your fears? The world? The enemy? Or, are we going to trust The Lord through it all?

2. MESSENGER OF sATAN

 

INVISIBLE ENEMY Paul said this “messenger” would buffet him. Meaning he would get hit with something and as soon as he got up he was hit again. We can learn from Scripture that our adversary’s tactics are meant to wear down the saints. (See Daniel 7:25)

3. MY GRACE

INVISIBLE STRENGTH Thankfully, we’re not left to our own devices for survival! The Lord’s response to Paul’s plea for relief was to refer him back to the grace of God. “My grace is sufficient.” So what is the path from grief to glory? God’s Grace! His Grace is sufficient! Leave me your thoughts in the comments section!

The Interview

The Interview

It would be safe (&, I believe, Biblical) to say that the Lord seems to have very low standards for hiring. Thankfully, He has a “whosoever will” policy. But His criteria for enduring employment becomes much more stringent. What we must understand is that this life is only preparation for the next. This life, being but a vapor, only appears for a short time and then it is gone. Only what’s done for eternity will matter.

Acts 9:1–7 (KJV)

And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, WHY persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, WHO art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, WHAT wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. 7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

3 QUESTIONS ARISE FROM THIS “INTERVIEW”:

1)WHY…? 

2)WHO …?

3)WHAT …?

1. WHY ARE YOU DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING?

Jesus asks Saul about his motives. “Why are you persecuting me?” If you were to ask Saul before now, he would have said he was serving God. But he was misguided. So when Jesus corners him He asks him why he’s doing what he’s doing.

  • THIS IS A MOTIVATIONAL QUESTION

We must examine our lives & ask why do we do what we do. Are we living to please people? Ourselves? Or are we living to please the Lord?

2. WHO ARE YOU LORD?

Saul realized at that moment that he didn’t know as much as he thought he did!

  • THIS IS A RELATIONAL QUESTION

Do we know the Lord the way we should? Have we learned anything new about God recently. How could we not?! We have a God that is from everlasting to everlasting and His word that is incredible! I understand that there is no way to master this knowledge completely this side of Heaven, but it must be an ever learning relationship.

Matthew 11:29

“Take my yoke upon you, and LEARN OF ME…

3. WHAT WILL YOU HAVE ME TO DO?

  • THIS IS A PROCEDURAL QUESTION

We examine our motives in the light of what we learn about a Holy God and then adjust our actions. Now Saul (later called Paul) stops everything he had planned and simply submits to the will of God.

 

So how’s your interview going? Are you hearing the Lord fully? Are you responding correctly? Are there adjustments that need to be made?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section!