These are the notes/converted blog from that day. The unquoted scripture comes from 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, so if it is not referenced that is where the passage is from.
"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."To me Paul is a superhero apostle, I mean he wrote half the New Testament, but Paul does not want to be magnified or glorified, he wants to give all the glory to the Lord. For me to read he has some problems brings him down to earth and makes him human; just like you and I.
Paul is facing opposition. James 1:2-4 it says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." God is using a "thorn in Paul's flesh," to maintain growth and maturity in Paul; God is using it for good. These are the "growing pains," that take place when you become a believer. We find them uncomfortable and miserable, but there is no reason to complain because it has a purpose: perseverance.
Another facet of Paul opposition is that it is clearly a spiritual battle. Christ tells us in John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy..." Guys, we are in a spiritual battle. If we aren't facing opposition daily, than we are already playing for the other team. Satan is alive and well at Highland Lakes Camp; if we allow him to reign. We are all trying to shine for Jesus, day in and day out. Satan delights when we fail, get frustrated with one another, and get on one anthers nerves. Name anything unholy or unrighteous and Satan delights in it. This is a real battle that each of us should be aware of and stop fighting with one another and fight spiritually. Did anyone let Satan win a few this past week?
What should be our response: The Message starts verse 8 by saying, "what he in fact did was push me to my knees...Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me." We should be on our knees asking the Lord to intervene on our behalf. Where do you take your problems first? Do you take them to your neighbor?
The other day Morgan came to me complaining the computer wasn't doing what it was supposed to do and said, "He wanted to punch it!" I asked him, "Did you pray over it?" He replied in shock, "No." A few days later, we were waiting for a package to arrive. Morgan was on pins and needles. When the package arrive he proclaimed to me, "Prayer worked!" Are you asking God to help, even with your computer problems; with your relationships; with your communications skills in these times when Satan attacks? Pray, seek after the Lords help.
Verse 9 Christ answers Paul, "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."
WOW! Christ doesn't say, "Ok Paul, I'll fix this," Instead Paul's answer is "grace." Through Him, and our weakness, Christ is glorified. How many times do we think, I can do this, I don't need help, I am strong enough, whatever; when really we need to surrender and rely solely on Christ. Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me." In Christ, we are no longer, for lack of better words, in charge, we are Christ. We are weak humans, but with the empowerment of Christ, we are strengthening and ultimately give glory to God for are lives and what He does through it.
Paul concludes this section by saying, "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." Let me read that again: "I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, and in difficulties." It doesn't say anything about complaining, whining or ignoring to or about one another, does it? It say, "I delight!" We have a hard job, but is it really that hard when we have Christ. From this scripture, God is calling us to take all these "troubles," turn them over to His grace and delight to allow Him to be glorified. We need to rely on Christ strength, or we are going to be miserable, downtrodden and tried.
When I am weak, He is strong. I urge you to surrender you life everyone morning. Accept grace, delight in troubles and rely solely on Christ Jesus for everything. In this, we give all glory to God, not ourselves.
I hope this falls fresh on those who read it. God Bless.