STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM


STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM

SUFFERING BURNS AWAY
PRIDE
==========================
To keep me from becoming conceited
because of these surpassingly great
revelations, there was given me a thorn
in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to
torment me. Three times I pleaded with
the Lord to take it away from me. But
he said to me, “My grace is sufficient
for you, for my power is made perfect
in weakness.” Therefore I will boast
all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ’s power may rest on
me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I
delight in weaknesses, in insults, in
hardships, in persecutions, in
difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am
strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Suffering burns away pride, as it did in
Paul’s life. When Paul prayed three
times for the removal of his “thorn in
the flesh,” he saw that it was God’s
will for him, and he accepted
it.

Many Christians are defeated at this point because they are not sure that they
are in the will of God, so they are not sure if the suffering is
really His
will for them. Without going aside into a Bible study on knowing
the will of
God, we can just present this thought. Our great God “works for
the good of
those who love him…” (Romans 8:28). If we consciously submit to
His will, He
will give His divine direction. Our suffering and persecution
can be placed in
His hands by a simple act of our will. No believer needs to
suffer alone and
in doubt. Commit it all to the Lord (Proverbs
16:3).

In an unscheduled visit to Lat Village in Vietnam, a co-worker had
the joy of
visiting Father Tranh, the leader of the local church. Realizing
the isolation
and loneliness of this leader the group with our co-worker
immediately asked
how they could pray for him.

Not having an abundance
of fellowship, he started sharing his hardships and
needs. He confirmed the
persecution and discrimination against the tribal
people as already expressed
by all the leaders they had met in Saigon. He
shared the hardship of
ministering to his people and the difficulties of
restriction both by the
police as well as the dense forest that limited his
movements.

Father
Thanh had 6,000 members in his congregation and found it an
overwhelming task
to be the only leader. “How do you do it brother?” the group
asked. “How many
people assist you in this enormous task?”

“I am only me!” he responded
and immediately went on to conclude his answer,
“but even though I am
limited, the Holy Spirit is unlimited.”

RESPONSE: Today I will recognize
that God may send suffering into my life to
burn away my
pride.

PRAYER: Pray for suffering church leaders around the world
today—especially
Father Thanh.

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