THE PROMISES OF GOD
We begin a new series of studies today looking at the promises of God that have been well used over the centuries by Christians seeking to be the person that God wanted them to be.
The first one and one well researched by obedient Christian disciples is found in 2 Corinthians 12 v 9 and used in all manner of circumstances.
The Apostle Paul was used to dealing with situations that grew quickly into nasty incidents but he was also conscious of circumstances that came on him through age and infirmity.
The thought of his 'thorn in the flesh' has drawn many views as to what it was but we do not really know for certain what it was that bothered him on his journey.
What we glean from scripture is that he had a physical problem that would not go away and he came to a point after three periods of prayer he laid it down at the Masters feet v 8.
In that moment Paul grasp hold of the truth spoken by the Lord Himself in the verse in front of us and that was sufficient to see him though the rest of his days on earth.
It is interesting to put things into context here because the trial was of Satan's making v 7 and operation, in Galatians 4 v 13 Paul refers to the 'infirmity of the flesh' something that he carried round with him.
The physical body is not immune from attack from Satan even for those closest to their Lord and Saviour, it seems it is greater on them.
The spiritual battle involves every part of us and the enemy will do all within its power to overthrow the diligent Christian.
The facts speak for themselves that the earthly physical body is the vehicle that houses the eternal spirit of men and women, the shell is dying but the spirit is going into eternity.
Paul then is faced with problems that were slowing him down physically but spiritually he was on top of things not moaning under them.
The Lord is in control of things and that is important for us all to grasp hold of, Satan can scheme and attack but the Lord is incomplete control of events.
We are under attack but as with Job the Lord watches carefully as the heat is applied and stands with His suffering servants.
What a terrific word of comfort and consolation is brought to these folk physically suffering for the sake of what they believe.
In the midst of the conflict they hear the word from the Lord 'My grace is sufficient for thee' and in the same breath 'for My strength is made perfect in weakness'.
Two terrific statements that we can claim for ourselves today as we go through the many problems of life seeking to conquer through the Lord Jesus Christ.
The first 'My grace is sufficient for thee' brings us to the feet of our Saviour and enables us top look up into His face gaining comfort as we do so.
What ever it is that pulls us down or is plaguing us it is brought under our Lords feet at the Throne of Grace, He looks down on our beleaguered soul and speaks gently but firmly to us 'My grace'.
He looks in compassion on us and seeks to lift up the fallen and to heal the broken hearted as only He can with His grace and favours.
The 'grace' meaning 'favour' points to the truth that when our Lord reaches out to us He is not looking or expecting favours in return.
He lavishly pours out His favours on His obedient people knowing the state they are in and the reason for their desperate prayers.
To be able to rest contented in the facts that He is in control and will give the necessary strength to the obedient servant to see them through the task ahead of them.
Now here is a thought for us to ponder today are we resting on the promises that our Father has given to us or are we sitting resting on the premises moaning?
It is easy for us look at inwardly at our self and see the weaknesses and then to meander around moaning about our lot and what we could do for God if only we were in a different situation.
The enemy of our soul is sitting back content in derailing you or putting you in a siding off the mainline so that you become ineffective.
That could be true for many of us but it is only partial truth because instead of falling for the lie and deception we have claimed the promise 'My grace id sufficient for you'.
In stead of sitting down we have got up and in the name of our Risen Saviour have claimed this promise and have become overcomer's instead of remaining over come.
There are grace and favours all along the battle scared way, the Road to Calvary was scarred all along the way before the hill top was reached by our Saviour.
He did not draw back from the onslaught of the enemy but steadfastly walked up to the summit to die to rescue us but the grave could not hold Him, Satan could not hold Him
death could not hold Him.
The truth is He conquered all for our sake and now wants us to live in the light of those historic events to conquer with Him.
The truth is 'for My strength is made perfect in weakness' our beloved Saviour delights to take folk in their weakness to make them strong, not by taking the infirmity away but causing them to triumph in them.
Here is the secret of mastery seeking to yield to the Lord in the situations that He leads us in and then drawing from the power of the Resurrection to overcome.
Note the word 'My' it is the Creator Lord speaking to us personally, the angel is no longer needed but he would come if necessary to speak to us.
The fact is our God delights when His people will take Him at His word, when we 'believe God' as Paul said to the captain on the boat before the shipwreck.
The promise is sure and we can confidently apply it when the situation arises that some infirmity over takes us we then look up and claim this promise.
Satan may try his hardest to stop the Christian but the Lord will cause us to rise over and above the circumstances to take hold of His word.
Here the enemy is thwarted, he is limited in what he can do and our Father turns his schemes into refining heat to keep us pliable in His hands.
We must look at the word 'sufficient' not just enough to meet the need of the hour but there is a super abundant supply to draw from.
There is no need to small or to big that our divine supply cannot meet, Gods grace is so vast that He will meet all the complaints brought to Him.
'Strength' points to human weakness being made strong enough to overcome the trial facing them, we can be born up by the Holy Spirit to master the situations that confront us.
The thought here is that we are able to bear the suffering in the realization that we are enduring for Christ's sake, made spiritually strong in our human weakness.
Such a note of joy rings through the life of a sufferer as v 9 'I will rather glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me', the difficulty is not taken away but the victory is that much greater as a result.
I have lost a good deal of my recent work on the computer through forces unseen by men and unaided by men but the Lord has given the grace to get up and getting going.
A simple thing but a real thing the enemy has thwarted the ministry but the Lord has given the sufficient grace to get up this morning and to get going again.
The promise in 2 Corinthians 12 v 9 can be claimed by the disciples of Christ and He will fulfill it in detail as we seek to press on along the path of righteousness.