Memory verse: 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. 2 Corinthians 12: 9
Challenge: POST THE MEMORY VERSE VISIBALLY FOR THE NEXT 24 HOURS AND REPEAT CONSTANTLY ‘HIS GRACE IS SUFFICENT FOR (INSERT YOUR THORN HERE) Think about a past thorn that you had prayed for God to take away, but He showed you His power by allowing it to stay, and sustaining you through it. Now, think about the current thorn that you have been praying for God to take away. How will you respond if God never takes it away? What is your Grace statement?
Recently I had a minor eye irritation, which bothered me in a major way. This bothered me so much that I had taken prescription medicine and laid in the bed for an entire day, with a hot towel on it, moaning and whining. The irritation came from me sleeping in my contacts for several nights and not re-wetting them. So, this situation was something that could have been prevented had I obeyed the instructions of the doctor. When the pain and throbbing in my eye got so bad, I got up and decided to go to the doctor. My friend convinced me to go to the pharmacist and just ask his opinion first. His advice: get some lubricating drops and give it a few days to clear up; a doctor’s visit wasn’t necessary. When I asked about the pain and irritation, he said ‘you will just have to deal with it’.
And that’s my word for you today: Just deal with it.
In 2 Corinthians, Paul talks about the thorn in his side, and how he pleaded with the Lord to remove it 3 times. God replied that His grace was sufficient for Paul, that His strength was made perfect in weakness. The Word never says whether God removed the thorn eventually or if Paul lived with it for the remainder of His life, but I would bet on the latter. Paul learned to deal with it, and He continued to be used for God’s glory while not allowing a situation that he wasn’t particularly fond of to hinder His walk. Paul was not satisfied with his thorn, but he was satisfied with his Savior, so he trusted His plan for his life.
INSIGHT: POWERFUL. As I read this, I think back to that day and as hard as I try I can only very vaguely remember the pain. That’s crazy because at that moment, I was sure that my eye was going to pop out of my head and explode because it was that unbearable. But I can tell you what I do remember about that day: I remember my sweet friend treating me to lunch and us catching up on what was going on in both of our lives, and then renting a movie and spending the evening talking instead. That’s what I remember and that’s what I believe Paul was trying to get us to understand. If we only focus on what we believe we are going through, we will miss all the beauty that is going on around us. Change our thinking, change our lives. Paul stated in Acts 20:23-24 Paul states that he is entering a situation that is unsure, but he is confident that it will embody persecution because the Holy Spirit has already testified that he will suffer wherever he goes. Does Paul focus on that? No!!! He states that his own life is of no concern to hi as long as he finishes the ministry to which he has been called. This should be our perspective. Circumstances can’t change the joy that we have because God is our source and our mission is to finish the race that He has called us to run. Simply beautiful.
So how does this relate to Singleness specifically and to life in general? Glad you asked. As I left the pharmacy, my friend and I decided to get something to eat. After lunch, I commented that my eye felt much better now that I was up and out than it had when I was at home nursing it.
That’ll preach, so let’s let it.
In life in general, and in our Single time in particular, we are going to have pains, irritations, trials and tribulations. They are promised in James, but He also promises that they will not destroy us in Isaiah. Many of the troubles and difficulties we have, we will just have to ‘deal with it’. Nothing that we are experiencing or that we will ever experience, takes God by surprise, nor is it something that other believers have not or will not go through (1 Corinthians 10:13, 1 Peter 5:8-9). The longer we sit and nurse the problem or situation, the worse it seems. That one thing affects our entire life, until we spend a whole day in the bed, miserable over something that is not that much of an issue. I was immobilized by the pain in my eye, but when I got up and got on with life, I realized that it was nothing more than a slight irritation that did nothing to hinder me from completing the tasks that I had to do that day.
How many times have we been there? You might be ‘there’ right now. We’ve allowed the enemy to convince us that the light afflictions we are facing are debilitating, and as a result, we become stagnant in our purpose and sometimes our faith, as we plead for God to remove our thorn. And God is telling us the same thing He told Paul: Deal with it. Through my grace, I will sustain you, and if you stop focusing on it, and move on, you will realize that My strength is perfecting you.
Are you sitting and moaning about your Singleness? Why hasn’t God released your from these ‘hell’?
God still has purpose for you in this season and once you get out of your spiritual stoop and go seek it, you will realize that you are so busy serving Him that you don’t even notice it. And when you do notice it, it will be favorable because you realize how much more you are able to do solely for the Kingdom because you don’t have the responsibilities of a spouse and family.
So I encourage you, Get up, wash your face, take your mind off the temporary things and refocus them on Christ. You will begin to notice that His grace truly is sufficient, and you can deal with it. Our contentment in Christ is shaken when we take our eyes off our Savior and start pitying self. Shake it off. Encourage yourself. GET MOVING- the Kingdom needs the vital thing that God has embedded in you, don’t keep us waiting.
Be a blessing as you are blessed family. I love you. We need you to grow in this season…not just for you, but for us.