For those of you studying The Virtue of Contentment, today, we begin WEEK 2. If you have just received your book or you are still waiting for your book, please don’t fret! There is plenty to work on with your Doodle/Lettering Lessons in the support files as well as our PRE-STUDY POSTS learning the 3, 2, 1 Method of study here on my blog.
Please work at your own pace, and use our FB group page to find accountability, encouragement, friendship, and study resources. These posts and files will always be here for you to use!
2 Corinthians 12:8-10
8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 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.
One of the things we most struggle with, is the opinion we develop that we are not ENOUGH. Good enough, strong enough, brave enough, successful enough, desirable enough, pretty enough…the list goes on, right?
Someone has “told” us this along the way, and we believed it.
We learn that it is a BAD THING to be WEAK…to NEED anyone. “I’m ok, or “I can handle it” are common statements for us all.
The enemy has done a good job of confirming this opinion in us, and he uses any means to do it. Society, teachers, peers, parents, media…
The Lord has something to say about this, and it is the opposite of what the world (& the enemy) has to say.
In the first verse, we see Paul being vulnerable. He lets us in on his conversation with the Lord and admits that he pleaded with God.
Not just once, but 3 times.
We can be honest with our Father. He already knows how we “feel.” It is always for our benefit to communicate with the Lord. It is through our conversation (prayer) that we “get to know” His character & His love for us.
Just as you would spend time getting to know any friend.
Wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to “finish each other’s sentences?” (Just like we can do with our best friend?) I’ve said it before…
God promises us that as we ABIDE in HIm, we can HAVE A MIND LIKE CHRIST. (1 Cor 2) The Lord can lift us above what we feel beneath, to see with His perspective….from His vantage point.
Paul was “being real” with his Dad. PLEASE TAKE THIS AWAY, I don’t want it. Paul was suffering. It isn’t clear in the text to what he specifically suffered from, but many believe it to be a physical affliction.
Why didn’t the Lord take this “thing” away from Paul?
Does this mean He is not a good and loving Father?
When we don’t understand the “whys” we must rely on what we do know. As we learn to trust God’s Character, we know that whatever we experience it is for His good purpose because He is GOOD. Because He is LOVE. (1 John 4:8)
When we ask the Lord for help, He never refuses. It may not be the “help” we were looking for, but it WILL be the help we need.
If we understood everything about our God, we would be equal to Him.
I am very comfortable knowing that my Father in Heaven is much GREATER than I!
Getting back to our text…
Paul allows us to see that he too, wrestled with “why me, God?”
But, as we read on, it is clear that through the process of faithful prayer, and honest communication, the Lord convicts Paul’s heart that His power will be made PERFECT in that weakness. Paul experienced this, because he stepped out in faith..he trusted God.
You will experience God’s faithfulness, as you trust Him with the very struggle you are trying to “handle” on your own. One struggle at a time, your faith will grow. You will learn that He is a Father who keeps His word and never leaves you.
“I can handle this” will become “HE CAN HANDLE THIS!”
He may not “TAKE THE TRIAL AWAY” but He will walk through the fire with you, providing what you need to move forward in the direction and purpose He has already prepared for you! And on the other side of that fire, you will walk out with the personal experience of His provision and faithfulness. THIS BUILDS OUR FAITH.
READ about SHADRACH, MESHACH AND A BEAN BURRITO (ABEDNEGO.) -I couldn’t resist…that’s how I teach the story to K-4:)
READ THEIR STORY IN DANIEL 3
“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” —Isaiah 43:2
As we surrender our will to the Lord, HIS GLORY will be seen through the very weakness we are running from.
As you work through the workbook questions this week, I pray that you will allow the Lord to reveal any areas of unresolved conflict that have led you to have a distorted view of WHO you are & WHO God is.
I pray that the very areas of weakness you plead for God to remove, will become a place of STRENGTH as you hand them over to Him and allow His power to provide exactly what you need. This will further lead you to a place of contentment…even in the fire.
Here’s a little process video for WK 2
God blesses you in your obedience!