Thursday, October 30, 2008

Much to Do About Everything

I realized that I had not logged my thoughts for a few days I when I really sat down to write this I found myself asking the question: WHY?

I then had a private pity party (Aren’t you glad you were not invited!) and when I was done childishly lamenting to the Lord the many, many “hurts” I feel and the stress I am under, I remembered the Apostle Paul and his words in 2 Corinthians 11:16 - 33

I repeat: Let no one take me for a fool. But if you do, then receive me just as you would a fool, so that I may do a little boasting. In this self-confident boasting I am not talking as the Lord would, but as a fool. Since many are boasting in the way the world does, I too will boast. You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise! In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or pushes himself forward or slaps you in the face. To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that!
What anyone else dares to boast about—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast about. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?
If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying. In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me. But I was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands.

Wow… Paul, in defending his Apostleship and right to write boasts about his weaknesses. After meditating on that for a while, my sorrow for myself took on a new shape:

“Father, forgive me for I know not of your surpassing mercy. Teach me to look to you and not to myself or my circumstance. Teach me trust you and to trust you fully with every aspect of my being. In Jesus’ name.”

Let us boldly proclaim the grace and majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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