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Summary: The most successful trick Satan use’s, is to get us to question God about His actions. The words usually formed on our lips are “why am I experiencing such pain?”

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GROWING PAINS?

Satan tries to undermine the Word of God and the importance of our faith in God. Eyes can’t always see what God is doing because most of what God does is in the spiritual realm. We can’t see the wind but we can see the results of it. Its very disturbing to think of the great influence Satan has upon the minds of many today. Satan is a contortionist. He can turn himself into any shape, and put on almost any form, and he looks sometimes like an angel of light. He can take the form or shape of hypocrisy, pride, unbelief, unfaithfulness, and even love (though artificial), in order to bring about the destruction in the lives of many, and even believers.

The most successful trick Satan use’s is to get us to question God about His actions. The words usually formed on our lips are “why am I experiencing such pain?”

King David questioned,

Ps 10:1

Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble? (If you loved me you would help me)

Ps 42:9

9 I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? (I’m not significant)

Ps 43:2

Why have you rejected me? (God doesn’t love me)

It’s interesting that these questions never enter our thoughts until we are faced with a situation that we are unable to meet ourselves. Its then that we realize our lack of faith in God.

Faith is labor intensive and too many times we give up at the point of victory.

There are a few things I think that we need to know about God.

God is:

Love, Able, At hand, Greater, Within you, Near, True, My witness, For us, Faithful, Holy, Eternal life, Wiser, Stronger, Light, Concerned,

Good, Complete, Not unjust, Forever and ever

I want to read my text as if Paul were telling it to us in today’s language.

2 Cor 11:16-33 (The Message)

16 Let me come back to where I started — and don’t hold it against me if I continue to sound a little foolish. Or if you’d rather, just accept that I am a fool and let me rant on a little. 17 I didn’t learn this kind of talk from Christ. 18 Oh, no, it’s a bad habit I picked up from the three-ring preachers that are so popular these days. 19 Since you sit there in the judgment seat observing all these shenanigans, you can afford to humor an occasional fool who happens along. 20 You have such admirable tolerance for impostors who rob your freedom, rip you off, steal you blind, put you down — even slap your face! 21 I shouldn’t admit it to you, but our stomachs aren’t strong enough to tolerate that kind of stuff.

Since you admire the egomaniacs of the pulpit so much (remember, this is your old friend, the fool, talking), let me try my hand at it. 22 Do they brag of being Hebrews, Israelites, the pure race of Abraham? I’m their match. 23 Are they servants of Christ? I can go them one better. (I can’t believe I’m saying these things. It’s crazy to talk this way! But I started, and I’m going to finish.)

I’ve worked much harder, been jailed more often, beaten up more times than I can count, and at death’s door time after time. 24 I’ve been flogged five times with the Jews’ thirty-nine lashes, 25 beaten by Roman rods three times, pummeled with rocks once. I’ve been shipwrecked three times, and immersed in the open sea for a night and a day. 26 In hard traveling year in and year out, I’ve had to ford rivers, fend off robbers, struggle with friends, struggle with foes. I’ve been at risk in the city, at risk in the country, endangered by desert sun and sea storm, and betrayed by those I thought were my brothers. (This can’t be happening to me. I am a Christian.) 27 I’ve known drudgery and hard labor, many a long and lonely night without sleep, many a missed meal, blasted by the cold, naked to the weather. 28 And that’s not the half of it, when you throw in the daily pressures and anxieties of all the churches. 29 When someone gets to the end of his rope, I feel the desperation in my bones. When someone is duped into sin, an angry fire burns in my gut. 30 If I have to "brag" about myself, I’ll brag about the humiliations that make me like Jesus. 31 The eternal and blessed God and Father of our Master Jesus knows I’m not lying. 32 Remember the time I was in Damascus and the governor of King Aretas posted guards at the city gates to arrest me? 33 I crawled through a window in the wall, was let down in a basket, and had to run for my life.


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