How Do We Triumph When We Have A Thorn In the Flesh

1.    We stand firm. We do not move to the left, nor to the right. We keep our faith. We know what is right and therefore we must stand for what is right. When we are pressed down and shaken out let’s be sure that what is left is pure gold worthy of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
2.    We rejoice. Satan will only spend extra time on you if you are a threat to him. This is a good thing, not the suffering, but the fact that you are a threat to him, this means that you are walking right and producing fruit for the harvest of souls for Christ.
3.    Let God use this time to create in you a clean heart. Sometimes God allows trials and sufferings in our lives because we need to change something within ourselves. For some of us change can only come when we are pressed down and shaken out. For some of us (like Paul) we need to be kept humble and the only way for that to happen is by having a thorn in the flesh to remind us that it is God at work in us, around us, and through us.
When you are facing troubles I want you to do four things;
STOP! LOOK! LISTEN! GO!
•    Stop: Try to see the will of God in every situation. Is He trying to use this time to grow you? Is He allowing this situation to occur so that you will change? Is He allowing this situation so that you will be humbled?
•    Look: At your life and what is going on. Are you innocent for the present trouble, or do you need to seek forgiveness and repentance? Look with a true and honest heart and spirit at the circumstances and test and try yourself to be sure that there is nothing that you have done. God is holy and just to forgive.
•    Listen: To the promptings of the Holy Spirit. God will use every situation, every circumstance, every trial, and every suffering to help us grow. He will use all of the negative that Satan throws our way to His glory if we are willing to stand in a godly manner (see my blog on; God does not promise to give us more than we can handle…), He promises to give us this escape to be able to endure.
      Now go forth, prepare your heart; your worship; your thanksgiving; your testimony; your mind; prepare yourself for change; for learning; for growing; prepare yourself to be honest.
     

 

Dove of the Holy Spirit (ca. 1660, alabaster, ...

Dove of the Holy Spirit (ca. 1660, alabaster, Throne of St. Peter, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Prepare yourself to be torn and put back together with a renewed spirit and a clean heart. Be teachable, moldable, and mendable. Because if you cannot be taught than you cannot change, if you cannot be molded than God cannot help you become what He wants you to be, if you cannot be mended than God cannot fix what is broken and you will never be whole in Him. So prepare yourself for change during times of trouble and suffering. You don’t know what God has in store for you when you come out the other side.
As always, God Bless you till we meet again…

 

 

 

 

 

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True Contentment Part 1

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber to be an example of a charismatic religious leader. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

“When we are really in need is when what God gives us truly enough. In this place we find true contentment.”
In 2 cor. 12:5-10, Paul tells us that the Lord gave him a “thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to buffet me-to keep me from exalting myself!”

 

In other words, to keep him humble. again in Philippians 4:11-13 Paul tells us”…In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.”
That is TRUE CONTENTMENT. And last, but not least, Paul tells us in Hebrews (specifically 15:5) tells us this: “Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.”
This is the foundation for the assurance of our contentment.
How many of us when we have plenty are we content? Really content? Usually when we have plenty we want more. This is not God’s plan for us. He wants us to be content with what He gives us. I’m not suggesting that we should not strive to be better every day. My suggestion is this, “That when we are focusing on getting more, we are not focusing on the Lord. To be able to say, “Lord thank You for what You have given me.” With a true heart for what you’ve said.”
Thanking the Lord for what we have and being content are 2 different things. How often do we say “thank You Lord for this meal…BUT” THAT IS NOT TRUE CONTENTMENT! Or, “Lord thank You for providing for my needs everyday…BUT” THIS IS NOT TRUE CONTENTMENT! We must come to the place of true contentment. Thanking God and then saying “but” is like a small crack in a pot. Over time it will become a steady leak and continue to weaken. We will not be able to retain the “thankfulness”. Ultimately, one small crack in a pot over time will make the whole pot unable to retain its contents. Thus it will be with us. If we cannot find true contentment in every area of our life it is like a small crack in our spiritual armor. After time that discontentment will “leak” into other areas of our life. Then, before you know it you are not able to retain the joy in knowing that the Lord is sufficient.
Matt. 6:25-34 is another assurance our heavenly Father gives us for “true contentment”.
“For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, as to what you put on. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing?…yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life’s span?…for your heavenly Father knows you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Webster’s definition of content is this: “satisfy; please; make easy in mind.” Also: “willing; ready”.
This reminds me of Matt. 11:28-30. “Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My load is light.”
When we are truly content we are more willing to be obedient. That is human nature. When our spouses meet our needs we are more content in our relationship. Thus, we are more willing to meet their needs in return. So it goes with our relationship with our heavenly Father. Whether we want to admit it or not, this is the case. It is just human nature. This is why finding true contentment in our hearts, our spirits, is so important. When Jesus tells us to take up His yoke because it is easy, do we really think that Jesus’ yoke was easy? Of course not! This is why so many of us are too afraid to try it. We see the trials that He faced and we are afraid. But if we look deeper into what He was saying we will find the true meaning. Let us take a look at this.
“Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart” He tells us to learn from Him. He is gentle and humble in heart. What does that mean? Sometimes we think that we are humble when in our hearts we are proud. Jesus tells us to let our hearts be humble.
Next, He tells us;  “and you shall find rest for your souls”. Not that we will find rest from our troubles. Do not be confused nor be deceived, the Lord does not guarantee us the life that is free from trouble. He does tell us that if we will learn from Him and that if we are gentle and humble in our hearts THEN we will find rest for our SOULS! You know that place within you that communicates with God? That is where you will find rest.
Do you think that Jesus’ load was easy or light? Probably not. Again let’s take a closer look at what this is saying.
“For My yoke is easy and My load is light.” What was Jesus’ load? It was to save the world. But that has been done once and for all through His sacrifice upon the cross. So what does He mean by telling us to take up His yoke? That His yoke is easy and light? The load that Jesus was to bear (apart from the aforementioned) was the will of His Father. Now we come to the meat of the matter. If we let our will be the Father’s will than we are not the ones that are carrying the load. It is easy and light. So if we listen to the words of Jesus and trust that what He says is true than maybe we too will be able to find that “True Contentment” that Paul talks about.
Paul stresses so much on the issue of true contentment in so many of his letters. This problem of discontentment can rob us of the joy and full blessings, not to mention our ultimate effectiveness for the Lord.

 

(I wrote this 11 years ago. I have edited it a little today and added some more dialog to it.)