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GOD-TRACKING IS RUNNING ON EMPTY BY GRACE
by Dudley Anderson
11/16/2018 / Devotionals
2 Corinthians 12:10
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
In one of his letters to the church of Corinth, Paul talks about his thorn in the flesh. There has been much speculation as to what Paul’s thorn was. In a letter to the church at Corinth Paul says, “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.”
The book of 2nd Corinthians is a deeply personal letter. The circumstances behind this letter reveal the difficult, often painful realities of ministry life. More than any of his other epistles, 2 Corinthians shows Paul’s pastor’s heart. In 1 Corinthians we learn that the church in Corinth was rebellious and struggling with division and spiritual immaturity. Paul's authority had been undermined and his teaching contradicted.
I would like to add a suggestion as to what Paul’s thorn was. Could it have been that the apostle was burned out and running on empty? A man of passion, Paul had given his all for the churches he’d planted. Some of them were thriving while others, like Corinth, turned out to be a thorn in the flesh. The Corinthian church had become, insubordinate, critical and judgemental. Paul was facing what we might term, church politics. He says, “For I fear that perhaps when I come, I may find you not as I wish. That perhaps there may be quarrelling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder.” Paul had poured so much into this group of believers, only to have them criticise him and rebel against his leadership. Nothing is more demoralising to a pastor than a critical spirit. Paul was emotionally threadbare.
Yet, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Paul writes that God’s grace is enough, and his power is made perfect in our weakness. Paul was facing a great challenge to his ministry. He was weak. However, Jesus tells him that he is strong in his weaknesses. Paul says to the Corinthians, “For Christ was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.”
Whatever opposition you are facing today; whatever may be your thorn in the flesh, never quit! You may feel your motivation and passion are burned out. But keep your eyes on Jesus and rest in the grace of God. Grace is God’s doing! Grace is your fuel! Grace is the anointing that breaks the yoke.
Paul persevered and continued to pastor, teach and lead, not by his own strength, but by the empowerment of God’s grace.
God-tracking is running on empty by grace
DON’T GIVE UP, LOOK UP & PRAY
Help me to be strong in your strength. Help me to face this criticism with integrity and grace
“O Lord I feel completely rundown. I have no energy, no passion and no motivation to do anything. I want to give up, but I won’t. Instead I choose to look up and surrender to you. I give over to your grace. Your grace is my power and my fuel. I feel so weak, but I know that my human strength can never be enough to fulfil your plans for my life. Therefore, I set my eyes on Jesus and look through this thorn in my flesh to see myself as an overcomer and a victor. Help me to be strong in your strength. Help me to face this criticism with integrity and grace. In you I will continue; I will persevere. You are my source and my resource. Amen.”
If you desire more prayer, please email me - [email protected]
What is GodTracker?
GodTracker is a weekly e-mail devotional based on the premise that God has a plan for our lives. His Word calls us to seek his plan by acknowledging him in all our ways and by tracking his purposes, in faith.
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Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa Dudley Anderson began writing for radio in 1994. Dudley currently writes a weekly e-mail devotional called, GodTracker and complied 2 devotional books based on GodTracker. These are God-tracking Through the Year ï" year one & year two.
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