Highlights In Today's Reading:
Spiritual weapons (prayer and His Word), power, and authority over the enemy are given by God (Chapter 10). Warning against false teachers (11:3-15): Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves (Matthew 7:15). The all-sufficient grace of God will uphold us in all our sorrows.
We are inclined to think that no one could feel the intensity of suffering that we are facing and our first response is: “Why me, Lord?” You may be suffering from the shock of being diagnosed with terminal cancer, divorce, loss of a job, foreclosure on your home, or facing the death of a child, mother, father, or wife. There is a sense of intense loneliness that permeates our thoughts when a tragedy occurs. For some it means the loss of one with whom to share life's joys and even share the discoveries we have as we read our Bible.
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 (11:24) — not that he robbed anyone — but only because he 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 . . . by mine own countrymen . . . (and still worse) among false brethren (11:25-26.) Yes, he 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 his prayer as he expected. God only 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 (Romans 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 never once said: “Woe is me; Why, Lord, did this happen to me?” or 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 also 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:
There is no better way to know His will other than by reading His Word.
9:2 forwardness =b> readiness; 9:5 bounty =b> gift; 9:7 of necessity =b> under compulsion; 9:13 experiment =b> experience, proof, evidence; 10:13 without =b> beyond; 11:2 espoused =b> betrothed, engaged; 11:3 beguiled =b> deceived, seduced; simplicity =b> sincere faithfulness; 11:5 a whit behind =b> at all inferior to; 11:6 rude in speech =b> unskilled as an orator; 12:7 buffet =b> discipline; 12:17 make a gain of you =b> take advantage of or exploit you; 12:20 swellings =b> pride; self-assertion; 12:21 lasciviousness =b> lustfulness; 13:6 reprobates =b> rejected, not genuine Christians.
For II Corinthians 9:9: See Psalm 112:9. II Corinthians 10:17: See Jeremiah 9:24. II Corinthians 13:1: See Deuteronomy 19:15.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Dr. John A. Hash • Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts for the week sponsored by Derek S. Ronnie • Government Officials: Rep. Barbara Cubin (WY), Sen. Richard Burr (NC), and Sec. Margaret Spellings (Dept. of Education) • Country: Peru (26 million) on the western coast of South America • Major languages: Spanish and Quechua • Open to evangelism and Bible distribution • 90% Christian; 8% non-Religious/Other; 1.2% Traditional ethnic; .3% Buddhist; .09% Baha'i; .02% Jewish • Prayer Suggestion: Bless the Lord for your redemption (Psa. 103:4).
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 7:14