Encouragements for our troubled times No. 13

COVID-19 Series | Date: 18 June 2020

The Elders and Deacons want to encourage the members and those who regularly meet with us through this weekly letter. If you have news which you would be happy to share with the fellowship or request for prayer, then please let us know.

A message from your Pastor

2 Corinthians 12:9

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Well, here we are still in lockdown as far as the Church is concerned. We are still unable to meet together as we would want, for worship and fellowship, and do not know when we will be able to. We pray and seek the Lord’s help but, as yet, we do not see the answer we desire and we wonder why it is that our God sometimes doesn’t seem to answer our prayers. The reality is that He always hears and answers our prayers, but not necessarily in the way that we expect or desire. We have to remember that His timing is not always our timing and that what we want may not be the best thing for us.

In our text this week Paul had to be reminded of this. He had pleaded with the Lord three times that the thorn in the flesh would be taken from him, but the Lord didn’t give him the answer he desired; instead, He assured Paul that His grace would be sufficient for him and His strength would be made perfect to him in his weakness. Isn’t it strange that we find so much encouragement in this text in which Paul is being denied his request, and yet we can only see the downside when our requests seem to be denied? Let us look at this text and learn with Paul the truth that the Lord always answers our prayers, but not necessarily in the way we expect.

Firstly, let us note that the Lord sometimes lets us become weak and afflicted, but only when it is good for us. Paul was buffeted by Satan and had a thorn in his flesh, and the Lord allowed this because it was for Paul’s good, lest he should be exalted above measure. So it is with us that the Lord will allow us to go through hardships and difficulties when He knows it is for our good. It may be to wean us from the world and sin, to keep us humble, so that we may experience more of His love and strength; or maybe some other reason, but it will always be for our good.

Secondly, look at the wonderful answer that the Lord gave to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you”. All that He can supply for us and do for us, all that He freely bestows upon us through the Spirit, is fully, and will always be found fully sufficient for us. We have God’s word on it. There is, therefore, nothing that we can meet in life or go through that He cannot help us to overcome or bear. We do not need anything else other than His grace.

The Lord affirms “My strength is made perfect in weakness”. When we are weak in our own strengths and resources and look to God for strength and help, then we are really strong and we find that we can “do all things through Christ Who strengthens us“. We can do very little in our own strength but can do all things in His. Moreover, what we do in our own strength tends to puff us up, but what we do in Christ’s strength when we are weak, is all to His glory. Therefore, will we not, with Paul, most gladly boast in our infirmities, so that the power of Christ may rest upon us?