In reading in the Bible in 2 Corinthians chapter 12 about something that tormented Paul, we see that although God did not remove Paul’s physical affliction, He promised to demonstrate His power in Paul. The fact that God’s power shows up in weak people should give us courage. When we are strong in abilities or resources, we are tempted to do God’s work on our own, and that leads to pride.
We must rely on God for our effectiveness rather than our own energy, effort, or talent. Our weakness not only helps develop Christian character, it also deepens our worship; in admitting our weakness, we affirm God’s strength. When we are weak, and when we allow God to fill us with his power, then we are stronger that we could ever be on our own. We must depend on God-only His power makes us effective for Him and does work that has lasting value. We must daily be mindful that God is our source for every need.
Give us this day
our daily bread.
Commentary from The One Year NIV Devotional New Testament, May 14. Tyndale House Publishers (2003).
Many people think that when God comforts us, our hardships should go away. But if that were always so, people would turn to God only to be relieved of pain and not out of love for Him. We must understand that comfort can also mean receiving strength, encouragement, and hope to deal with hardships. The more we suffer, the more comfort God gives us. If you are feeling overwhelmed, allow God to comfort you. Remember that every trial you endure will later become an opportunity to minister to other people suffering similar hardships.
If you have a need today, take it to your Father in heaven knowing that His grace is sufficient for you. Trust Him for how that grace will be manifested.
Commentary from: The One Year NIV Devotional New Testament, April 16 (Tyndale House Publishers, 2003), and Turning Points Magazine and Devotional, by Dr. David Jeremiah, April 15/16.
Didn’t Jesus serve others on Sundays only?
The Lord is very clear that works cannot save us-in fact, He compares our good deeds to filthy rags (Isa. 64:6). On the other hand, God’s grace is not a license to be lazy; Christians are called upon to serve the Lord every day.
From the outside, it is usually impossible to distinguish between works and service in someone else’s life. But God knows the motivation of every heart. He is pleased by the things we do to show Him our love and to express appreciation for His countless blessings. Such actions bring glory to His name.
Keep in mind that serving God in order to earn His favor or ensure that He continues His blessing in your life amounts to thwarting grace. You can do nothing to deserve the Lord’s kindness! He pours it upon believers freely, so the only thing you can “do” is receive it.
On the other hand, we may be one of those who has learned to be a passive observer par excellence. In my opinion, sitting in our chairs every night just being a viewer of things has sort of conditioned most of us to become that way, and is really the new normal, don’t you think?
There is actually A LOT of work to do, and it likely won’t come and find you.
“Christians should move on to spiritual maturity. We must feast on the meat of God’s Word and put into practice the lessons we have learned. It is the only way to grow up.” Haddon W. Robinson (emphasis mine)
Portions of commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional, January 4, 2017.