Grace To Suffer

According to so many TV preachers, and as we might like to think, nobody should have to suffer if they know the Lord, the Bible, and have strong faith.  One doesn’t have to do a very deep Bible study, however, to find that this is just not true.  The great Apostle Paul suffered from “a thorn in the flesh.”  We can only make an educated guess as to what this thorn in the flesh might have been, but we know for a fact that he had no problems with faith or knowing the Lord, or know the Scriptures.  He prayed for the removal of that “thorn in the flesh,” and the Lord revealed to him that he was going to have to keep, because God’s purposes were going to be better fulfilled by him having it.   Some would charge God with being insensitive, and even cruel, to do such a thing, but we must not forget that He is God and we are not, and we must operate by His standards, not Him by ours.   No one is saved from the penalty of their sin because they deserve it, but simply as an action of God’s grace toward them.   The Bible tells us that we are as clay in the hands of a potter, and God is the potter with the absolute right to fashion us into any kind of vessel He so wills.   We have no right to protest concerning the manner in which He fashions us, nor to whatever useful purpose He intends us.  It is true that God is love, and it is true that God is good all the time, and He has given us great and precious promises on which we can confidently stand, but we must remember that our only reason for existence is His glory, not our own, and if He receives glory through our suffering, as in the case of Job, our only proper response is to do as Job, and as Paul, and give Him praise.   On the other hand, we can rest assured that His grace is always sufficient.

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