Read 2 Corinthians 9
A harvest of generosity (II Cor. chap. 9). Use the weapons of God against the devil (10:4-6); without Jesus, we can do nothing (see John 15:5; Col. 1:17). Guard against: false teachers (11:1-15); pride (12:7). We are weak, but God is strong (12:9). Check yourselves out regularly to be sure you're focused on Jesus (13:5).
We are inclined to think that no one could feel the intensity of suffering that we are facing and our first response may be: “Why me, Lord?” We may be suffering from the shock of being diagnosed with terminal cancer, divorce, loss of a job, or foreclosure on our home. Perhaps we are facing the death of a child, mother, father, or wife. There is a sense of intense loneliness that permeates our thoughts when tragedy occurs. For some, it means the loss of one with whom they shared life's joys and the discoveries they made as they read the Bible together.
The Apostle Paul lists a few of the many experiences of suffering he had endured. He records: Five times received I forty stripes save one (II Cor. 11:24). This was because he had preached the Gospel that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. Then: Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep . . . in perils (dangers) of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen . . . (and still worse) among false brethren (11:25-26.) Yes, Paul had feelings just like all of us. He continues: In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings (11:27). Added to that, was the care of all the churches (11:28). That's where his heart really was, in spite of all his struggles.
He prayed three times that his thorn in the flesh might be removed (12:7-8). God didn't answer Paul's prayer as he expected. Instead, He said: My grace is sufficient for thee (12:9).
Yes, we do love the Lord and know His Word that reminds us that all things work together for good (Rom. 8:28). So, when God removes our most precious loved one — perhaps a child or even a grandchild or godly wife or husband — we need to remember the Apostle Paul, who never once said: “Woe is me! Why, Lord, did this happen to me?” It is not recorded in Scripture that Paul had any thought that would suggest a lack of faith in the wisdom of God.
And the thrill of it all is that, as a child of God, we know what the future holds — that death doesn't end all. It just begins a life of eternity with our wonderful Heavenly Father and our precious Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said: Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. . . . (For) I go to prepare a place for you (John 14:1-2).
Thought for Today:
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ (I Pet. 1:7).
For II Cor. 9:9: See Ps. 112:9. II Cor. 10:17: See Jer. 9:24. II Cor. 13:1: See Deut. 19:15.
9:2 forwardness, readiness; 9:5 bounty, gift; 9:7 of necessity, under compulsion; 9:13 experiment, experience, proof, evidence; 10:13 without, beyond; 11:2 espoused, betrothed, engaged; 11:3 beguiled, deceived, seduced; simplicity, sincere faithfulness; 11:5 a whit behind, at all inferior to; 11:6 rude in speech, unskilled as an orator; 12:7 buffet, discipline; 12:17 make a gain of you, take advantage of or exploit you; 12:20 swellings, pride; self-assertion; 12:21 lasciviousness, lustfulness; 13:6 reprobates, rejected, not genuine Christians.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Gloria Schmidt; and by Dr. John A. Hash • Government Official: Sen. Richard Burr (NC), Rep. Jim McGovern (MA), and Rep.-at-Large Kristi Noem (SD) • Country: Guinea-Bissau (1 million) on the western coast of Africa • Major languages: Portuguese and Criolo • Religious freedom • 51% animist; 42% Muslim; 6% Roman Catholic; .7% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Call unto the Lord and He will give you strength to overcome (Jer. 33:3).
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 6:15