Summary: Paul wrote maybe the most interesting book of the NT—2 Corinthians. In fact, I had the privilege of hearing Doctor Archibald Hart. He spent 3 hours speaking on 2 Corinthians, In this 3 hour didactic...
Take Pleasure, He’s In Control.
A couple was celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary. They had both been exemplary people. Suddenly an angel appeared in front of them; “I have come to grant each of you one request: what have you always wished for?”
The woman smiled and said, “I’ve always wanted to travel!” Poof! A pile of airline tickets appeared to destinations across the globe.
The angel looked at the man. He said, “Well, this is a little irregular, but I’ve always wished to be married to a woman 30 years younger than me.” Poof! He was suddenly 90 years old.
Throughout the Bible, God’s Kingdom speaks of a regression; however, regression in God’s kingdom produces progression. Just a few examples. Jesus stated, “Give and it shall be given, The first shall be last, the last first, The greatest will serve the least. Notice the contrast, this contrast are the people who follow Jesus, verses those who choose not to. What can really be said for those who never choose Jesus? However, Jesus followers are those who are weak in themselves; They refuse to rely on their own self significancy. Yes, God anoints those who are totally dependent on Him; God’s anointed resemble their leader— Jesus Christ.
Paul wrote maybe the most interesting book of the NT—2 Corinthians. In fact, I had the privilege of hearing Doctor Archibald Hart. He spent 3 hours speaking on 2 Corinthians, In this 3 hour didactic he made a rock solid case of why 2 Corinthians should be known as the book for the clinically depressed, and how they can recover!
The religious were saying that Paul wasn’t sincere and that his speech came across rough and sometimes even crude.
Paul even admitted he had learned the Hebrew life from the best of minds, and his OT knowledge was bar-none. However, he admits I wasn’t trained in pulpit skills.
Therefore, Paul was attacked by men who said he wasn’t qualified.
Therefore, 2 Corinthians chapters 11 and 12 were written.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10NKJV And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
As a believer—my growth is measured by weakness’. Weakness’ meaning greater dependance on Jesus. The greatest of all men—John the Baptist, stated, I must decrease, He must increase. So we could say, “Our spiritual growth is measured by our dependance on Jesus.”
Paul is saying in 2 Corinthians 12:7-8, that God allowed a messenger of satan to buffet me, to attack me, He goes on to say, “The attacks were difficult, I could hardly stand it "But God gave me grace!” Paul say’s, I ask God to remove the weakness, He replied, “In your weakness’ you will be made strong.
“When a person comes to the conclusion that life is all about Jesus.’ ‘And that Jesus doesn’t want to just shine through you, He wants to be the superstar in you.” P.H
He wants full responsibility, Full custody.
As I mentioned earlier, Paul doesn’t just write about his weakness’ in a full sentence, He actually gave us one of the most relevant books of the Bible—2 Corinthians.
Every year I tackle 2 Corinthians, mainly because it’s a book that speaks Jesus Christ or nothing!
Therefore I want to read some more of Paul’s frustrations, before we finish with todays text.
2 Corinthians 11:21-28NLT But whatever they dare to boast about—I’m talking like a fool again—I dare to boast about it, too. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? I know I sound like a madman, but I have served him far more! I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. 24 Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. 26 I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not. 27 I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.