Today we continue our series “God is faithful!” The Lord led me to 2 Corinthians 4. In this passage, we are looking at what it looks like to believe God is faithful. Because of God’s faithfulness towards us, we can withstand and overcome anything!
In our last message, we deal with verses 10 and 11. Today we will look at verse 12.
(2 Corinthians 4:1, 7-13, 16-18 TPT)
1 Now, it’s because of God’s mercy that we have been entrusted with the privilege of this new covenant ministry. And we will not quit or faint with weariness.
7 We are like common clay jars that carry this glorious treasure within, so that this immeasurable power will be seen as God’s, not ours.
8 Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed. At times we don’t know what to do, but quitting is not an option.
9 We are persecuted by others, but God has not forsaken us. We may be knocked down, but not out.
10 We continually share in the death of Jesus in our own bodies so that the resurrection life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity.
11 We consider living to mean that we are constantly being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake so that the life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity.
12 So, then, death is at work in us but it releases life in you.
13 We have the same Spirit of faith that is described in the Scriptures when it says, “First I believed, then I spoke in faith.” So we also first believe then speak in faith.
16 So no wonder we don’t give up. For even though our outer person gradually wears out, our inner being is renewed every single day.
17 We view our slight, short-lived troubles in the light of eternity. We see our difficulties as the substance that produces for us an eternal, weighty glory far beyond all comparison,
18 because we don’t focus our attention on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but the unseen realm is eternal.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
(2 Corinthians 4:12 TPT)
So, then, death is at work in us but it releases life in you.
1. God will not compete with you; His strength is only manifested in your weakness.
I will use the life of the Apostle Paul as an example of this. In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul talks about a messenger from satan that was assigned to him. This was going on while Paul was trying to advance God’s Kingdom on this planet. It also happened after Paul was “caught up” to heaven, and he experienced things humans are not supposed to experience while on the earth.
Allow me to frame the situation for you:
— Paul was doing what he was called to do.
— God was so pleased with Paul that He allowed Paul to experience heavenly revelations that are far beyond our humanity.
— Satan was not happy with what God was doing through the life of Paul.
— Satan assigned a special messenger from his kingdom to torment Paul.
— Paul asked God, three times, to take the messenger away.
— While God did not send the messenger (satan did), God refused to take the messenger away because the opposition was driving Paul to rely on God’s grace even more.
— God said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
— Paul’s response was, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
We can learn a few lessons from all of this. I will lay some of those out in the following points.
2. The are times when we ask God for less pain, and He responds with more grace.
— Paul wanted God to take the messenger from satan away. Paul wanted an easier path.
— God chose NOT to make his path easier. Instead, God chose to make his strength stronger, by leading Paul to rely on His grace.
— God will sometimes do the same with us. We ask God to remove what is bothering us, but instead, He reminds us that He has given us the power to face and overcome everything we face by His grace! God’s grace is truly amazing.
3. God’s power will not flow freely through you when YOU are in the way.
— You have power and God has power. You have ability and God has ability. You have knowledge and God has all wisdom.
— God has placed His Spirit down inside of you so that you would have access to His supernatural power and wisdom.
— You can choose to operate on your own, without God, and He will stand by and watch you stumble your way through life. Or you can get out of the way, die to self, and allow God to flow through you.
— You will never experience the fulness of God’s grace until you GET OUT OF THE WAY!
— If you want to withstand and overcome anything, you must learn to die to self and rely on God’s grace.
4. When your power runs out, God’s power can take over.
— As humans, we often don’t call for or rely on God’s grace until we get to the end of ourselves. We shouldn’t wait until it gets that far, but we often do. Whether we wait until we are exhausted because we attempted to do it on our own, or we called on God right up front, the point is that God’s power will kick in when we acknowledge that our power is not enough.
— When you decrease and die to self, you will see God’s power increase and manifest in your life.
— If you do all the work, God will rest. But if you learn to rest in Him, He will work through you!
5. God’s power is ONLY fully manifested in your weakness.
— You are both human and divine. You live in a body here on earth, and God Himself, in the form of the Holy Spirit, lives in you, connecting you to heaven.
— The supernatural power of God can flow through you daily, and this is God’s goal. But God will not compete with you. If you choose to do something on your own, without God, He will let you do it in your own strength. God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness.
— The key to overcoming challenges is yielding to the power of God.
— The key to winning in situations where you are clearly supposed to lose is letting God do what you cannot do without Him.
— The only way Paul was able to advance the Kingdom of God agenda at a time when Christians were being killed is because He allowed God to do what he was incapable of doing as a mere human.
— You can get to the point where you enjoy seemingly impossible situations.
— There will be times when you feel like you can’t do what God is leading you to do. Many times, you will feel unqualified, un or underprepared, ill-equipped, underfunded, and not knowledgeable enough. There will be people who come up against you who have more education, more experience, more money, more connections, and more of just about everything. This is when you must know that you are hearing from God. If God is leading you to it, it is because He is leading you through it. He will do what you cannot. His SUPER will manifest through your natural. The more you experience, endure, and overcome situations like this, and the more you see God got the glory out of it, the more you will enjoy impossible situations.
— Paul thought about all he went through and how God’s grace was manifested, through his humanity, over and over again, and he said: “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
Now when it happens, I get excited because I know three things:
1. I can’t do this on my own, and I don’t need to.
2. God will do what I can’t do.
3. Since everyone will know it was not me, God will get the glory! This will be a great testimony of God’s grace on and through my life.
I hope this message helps you change your perspective of challenges.
We will stop here. I have given you enough for today.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I thank You for taking the time to teach me about Your amazing and undeserved grace. I can identify with the Apostle Paul. There have been times when I asked You to take something away from me, something that was clearly bothering me. But instead of taking it away, You gave me the grace to face it, to overcome it, and to press on despite it. Your grace is sufficient to empower me to overcome every challenge, to rise above every obstacle, and to win every battle. But You won’t complete with me. If I choose to face something on my own, in my own strength and my own ability, You will stand by and watch me flounder. I have done enough of that. From this day forward, I face every challenge head-on, in faith, fully relying on Your grace. I am not good enough or strong enough on my own. But I don’t have to be. Your power is made perfect in my weakness. This is how I know, GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.