No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is…
A religious zealot named Saul had big plans to destroy the followers of Jesus. He thought that he was defending the Jewish faith and doing God a favor. But God had other plans. When He appeared in a blinding light, Saul’s life was completely changed forever.
Have you experienced God’s changing power? Saul’s name was changed to Paul. His calloused heart was changed to one of compassion. His motivation for serving God was changed from hatred of God’s people to love for them. He still had the strong personality that he was born with, but God used his strengths for new purposes. God even used his weaknesses to show how the power of God could be displayed.
In II Corinthians 12:9 & 10, God said to Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” And Paul’s response? “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
What? A proud Jew admitting that he was OK with his weakness? Yes, because it was all about God, not about Paul.
I sometimes need to examine my heart to see if I am letting God’s Spirit work through my strengths and weaknesses for His purposes. We all have weaknesses, you know. But God knows how to display His strength when we are weak. People can see that what is happening is certainly not due to our great ability to cope. Only God can give us joy in the midst of sorrow, peace in the storm, ability to say and do the right things when we lack any wisdom of our own. I am weak, but God is strong. He always is.
Paul never forgot who he had been before God stepped in. He considered himself the “chief of sinners“ (I Timothy 1:15). And he challenged all of his readers (that includes us) to remember that we all were once condemned sinners. “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ …” (Ephesians 2:4-5).
Now that’s cause for celebration.Let’s not focus on the negative things in life today. God has transformed us, adopted us, renewed us, kept us. Have you thought about what a difference those two little words make? “But God …?”
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