Have you been in a situation where you prayed to God for Him to take that situation away from you? It was too painful to bear, too much to even think about going through, but you went through it anyway. That is the prayer that Paul prayed in II Cor. 12:9 but God answered and said, “For my grace is sufficient for you.” Because it’s through your weakness He is made strong. The ladies in jail were sitting at the edge of their seats waiting to see what God was going to say next. Then I reminded them of Jesus and how He prayed that this cup would pass from Him. The meaning of suffering is something that we don’t like. I saw a head shake in the back of the room. They were picking up what I was throwing down.
Because at this time we were getting to the part in the story they are all familiar with and that is the hard stuff in our life that caused us to cry out to God. He is never far away because He is in us, if we are born again. He didn’t say He would keep us from the trouble, but go through it with us. He was not exempt from the pain, why is it we think we are? Are we to glory in His righteousness but not in the sufferings also?
Therefore we would not know what spring was if we didn’t have the winter. We wouldn’t know sweet if we didn’t know bitter. We would never build our muscles if it weren’t for the resistance. Do we like it? No, but we do it anyway. We push through the madness. It’s in our weakness He is made strong. We were never meant, or designed to operate on our own. We follow someone or something all our lives, it never works until we follow Jesus. That’s because that is how we are made.
Isn’t it great to realize that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us enough to cause us to realize that we need Him? It says in II Thess. 1:4 “for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and affliction which you endure so that we will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God.” It is all for His glory, and why not? It’s His grace. Which means unmerited favor, we can’t earn it, buy it, beg for it, and He gives grace freely. He is God and we are not. The bible says we can come boldly to the throne of Grace in time of need. Once we realize how much God really, really loves us, our hearts will change and so will our behavior. So, do we suffer? Yes, we don’t have to like it, but we do have to trust in the one who is the glorifier too.
We talked about how if I could do it all over again…. I would do it exactly the same, would you? The grace is here for us, it’s sufficient. We can trust Jesus, nothing takes Him by surprise and He already knows we are going to mess it up. But that’s okay with Him because He knows we can’t do it without Him; we just need to know it.
The lesson was really good in jail tonight, I am glad I came to hear it. We also watched 3 chapters of the Gospel of Matthew along with a teaching of Joyce Meyer about being offended. I am sick with a cold, but God saw fit to minister through me, because His grace is sufficient.
Written by Tracey