Summary: This is a must read for anyone working with people. We are in a war, we often get so tired and wounded... We must learn to overcome obstacles. The negative thorns can grow us to our calling.
#2 SHAKE IT OFF, GOD HAS A PLAN...
By Wade Martin Hughes, Sr. Kyfingers@aol.com
This is part two, a review and a progression in the thought.
I. WE ARE IN A WAR... WAR IS TERRIBLE... WE MUST GUARD OUR HEARTS AND
PREPARE OUR MINDS... MANY ARE WOUNDED...
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against
powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in
Ephesians 6:16 (KJV) Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to
quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Ephesians 6:16 (NLT) In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery
arrows of the devil.
II. PAUL CLEARLY WARNS US... NOT ONLY TO BE PREPARED BUT TO NOT ALLOW
THE WAR TO BRING BITTERNESS AND CAUSE US TO LOSE OUR COMPASSION.
Hebrews 12:12 (KJV) Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but
let it rather be healed. 14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall
see the Lord: 15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness
springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Hebrews 12:12 (MSG) So don't sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet!
13 Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole
and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it! 14 Work at getting along with each other
and with God. Otherwise you'll never get so much as a glimpse of God. 15 Make sure no one gets
left out of God's generosity. Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. A thistle or
two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time.
III. REVIEW: PAUL TEACHES US MANY LESSONS HE HAD TO LEARN THE HARD WAY...
PAUL WAS ASSURED NO MATTER WHAT THE ENEMY MUSTERED AGAINST
HIM, GOD HAD A PLAN... YOU ARE GOING TO ROME... FEAR NOT...
YOUR MINISTRY WILL THRIVE UNTIL GOD IS FINISHED...
Acts 23:11 (KJV) And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good
cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness
also at Rome.
Acts 23:11 (NLT) That night the Lord appeared to Paul and said, “Be encouraged, Paul.
Just as you have been a witness to me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the Good
News in Rome as well.”
Acts 23:11 (MSG) That night the Master appeared to Paul: "It's going to be all right.
Everything is going to turn out for the best. You've been a good witness for me here in
Jerusalem. Now you're going to be my witness in Rome!"
IV. MY WEAKNESS? VS HIS STRENGTH?
THORNS HAVE A PURPOSE AND GOD USES THE NEGATIVE THINGS TO TEACH
US... DO NOT PRAY TO REMOVE THE THORNS... PRAY TO LEARN FROM THE
A. PAUL PRAYED FOR THE THORN REMOVAL POWER OF GOD...
Yet the thorn was never removed...
By THE STAYING OF THE THORN, Paul's SPIRITUAL POWER INCREASED...
2 Corinthians 12:5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.
6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear,
lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was
given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above
measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses
for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
B. We need to search for the glory of the cross...
If God does not calm the storm, may He calm us through the storm.
V. HOW CAN WE TEACH OTHERS WHAT WE DO NOT KNOW?
EXPERIENCE TEACHES US TO HANG ON AND PRESS ON...
PAUL HAS MANY LESSONS TO LEARN BEFORE HE CAN TEACH AND PEN SUCH GREAT