If you had to pick between the two which would you choose? Comfortable, or wonderful? I know that I would be inclined to pick comfortable. But I also know that I’d be making the wrong decision. Let me explain. Better yet let the apostle Paul explain:
2 Corinthians 12:1-10 ESV “I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses— though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 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. 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.”
Paul was made very uncomfortable (by God) through a tormenting messenger or demon from Satan. This was necessary for Paul to continue experiencing many great and wonderful things. Jesus knew just the right amount of suffering (uncomfortableness) needed for Paul to keep him from becoming conceited and destroyed because of his many wonderful visions and revelations.
Imagine yourself as Paul. You’re going through something that feels so bad you 3 times plead with the Lord to take it away. The Lord says, ‘No. You have my grace Paul. That’s all you need. My power is made perfect in your weakness.’ Wow. It’s moments like this that you find out whether you really believe God knows best. Paul did believe it. Instead of raging against the Lord for not making his situation more comfortable he accepted Jesus’ decision saying, “Therefore 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.” Paul learned the secret of his sufferings. What awesome submission to Almighty God! Bravo! 😉
Of course you know that God is not partial. And He disciplines all of His children He loves. (Hebrews 12:5-11) He knows just the right amount of training we individually need. Will we accept our discipline from the Lord like Paul?
Matthew 16:24 KJV “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
Matthew 10:38 NIV “Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”
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