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There is sufficient grace for us from the Lord
Thinking of God

Most are aware of some of the devastating effects that can result from rivers flooding. We've seen and heard of the tremendous loss of life and property that can occur when waterways like the Mississippi or Ohio get out of their banks. 

Even relatively small streams can wreak havoc in confined spaces, especially if their current is swift.  Flooding can uproot entire populations, and cause, at the very least, a lot of inconvenience. 

And yet, we are also aware of the great blessing that comes from river flooding.  The Mississippi delta is one of the most fertile places on earth.  Along with the Missouri and Ohio basins, it helps form the world's breadbasket!

The context of 2 Corinthians 12 involves Paul defense of his ministry and apostleship against his detractors who sought to damage his influence and preaching at Corinth. He faced these people in many places where he preached during his journeys. Part of his defense was to talk about his spiritual gifts and visions from God as an apostle. Pay attention to chapters 10 and 11 in his letter.

Paul wrote to the Corinthians of "a thorn in the flesh" (2 Corinthians 12:7), to keep him humble. There is no certainty as to the nature of this “thorn,” which Paul prayed three times to have it removed. The Lord's encouragement for him was simple: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:10).

To his great credit, God's answer was enough for Paul. He could actually be content about his problem. Because of the humbling nature of his weakness, Paul could profit from the strength of God.

For many, this is a difficult lesson to learn...a lesson that is often rejected. For many, "the school of hard knocks" is too much, and they “drop out.” They’re unable to overcome the burden or solve the difficulty. And they don't learn much from the experience, either.

The chorus of a popular encouraging spiritual song says, 

Every cloud has a silver lining! 

Every plight has a brighter hue!

After night a lovely morning!

After storm a calm anew!

Every cloud has a silver lining!

Every care has a blessing too!

If we look for the silver lining 

When the Lamp of God shines thro'!

Paul wrote in his brief letter to the Philippian church, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength" (4:13). 

James, one of the Lord’s earthly brothers, encourages us to be joyful when we face difficulties that test our faith, because it can lead to great spiritual strength and growth (James 1:2-4).

Beneath our burdens there are great blessings to be enjoyed, if we will only take our strength from him who can help us endure.   

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