Sunday, April 26, 2009

Faithless is he that says farewell
 when the road darkens.
J. R. R. Tolkien

If we are faithless,
He will remain faithful,
for He cannot disown himself.

2 Timothy 2

Christian, are you tempted to say, "Where is God?" when things do not go your way. Are you struggling to accept that what He is doing in your life He will, without doubt, work for good simply because you belong to Him? Are you wondering how much more you can take?

You are normal, and all of those emotions and questions are understandable. 

However, God is not a god of bright and cheery circumstances. He never, not once, promises an easy life, filled with white picket fences and happily ever afters.  

In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul tells us a story of his own pain. Something was wrong--a physical pain, an emotional issue, or a sin he just could not conquer--we are not sure what it was, but it ate away at Paul, driving him to beg God to just take it away. 

Paul said, Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.

But God did not take it away. He could have, His power is beyond our comprehension. In our eyes, He should have, for we know His love has no bounds. But he didn't.

This is the message Paul received when he pleaded with God to take away the thorn in his side:

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

We can be sure it's not the answer Paul wanted. He did not ask once or twice but pleaded, as a lawyer would at a trial. Paul presented his case before God himself, the most perfect of judges, the most knowledgeable of juries, the most compassionate of forgivers. And the answer was no.

Is your answer no as well? Have you taken your case to the King of kings and do you feel rejected?  God wants you to remember:

My Grace is Enough. My Grace is Enough. You do not need more, you do not need this. My Grace is Enough. With Me, you can handle this. With me, you are able to do all things. With me you can overcome. My Grace is Enough.

It may not feel like enough. It may not look like enough. It may not answer your burning questions or take away your pain. But His grace, it is enough.

Paul must have known this to be true. For he stops arguing his case, and says:

Therefore (because God's grace is enough) 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.

I have been in situations where there has been nowhere else to turn but to God's grace. Nothing else was sufficient, nothing helped, nothing worked. But God, in His great loving kindness, turned me to Himself and showed me that His grace is indeed enough for me. 

I am sorry for you as you are hurting. I ache for you as you travel down a dark and lonely road. Your steps feel unsure, in fact, you are not even sure you can take that first step, for the road is long, dreary, and rough. My friend, you can, for there is One who will never fail you, never leave you, never give you more than you can bear. Lean on Him, Follow Him, Keep your Eyes on Him, and you will find, once again, that His grace for you, specially poured out for you, is enough.

2 Timothy 2:

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God's word is not chained. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

Here is a trustworthy saying:

If we died with him,
we will also live with him;
if we endure,
we will also reign with him.
If we disown him,
he will also disown us;
if we are faithless,
he will remain faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.

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