Saints & Struggles | The Apostle Paul
Pastor Justin Miller
To be a Saint is to be in the Struggle.
The struggle is real and it is part of God’s plan.
2 Corinthians 11:24-27 New International Version
24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.
The struggle is real so we have to expect it.
We can’t let our struggle shape our faith rather our faith should shape our struggle.
2 Corinthians 12:7-8 New International Version
Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.
When we focus on the “what” of the struggle we miss the what for. Truth is there is always a purpose for whatever pain comes our way.
1. There is purpose for my pain.
We all have pain. We don’t go through pain to suffer; we go through it to learn and grow from it.
Hebrews 12:11 New International Version
11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
1 Peter 4:1 New International Version
Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.
God saves us through our struggle. Instead of asking God why we should ask Him how?
2. There is promise in our pain. Don’t just look for the purpose – look for God’s promise.
God will give you everything you need. God’s power never runs out.
God’s Grace is always enough.
2 Corinthians 12:9 New International Version
9 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.
3. God will never give you more than He can handle.
Don’t just go through the struggle but use it- grow through the struggle.
2 Corinthians 12:10 New International Version
10 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.
Through his struggle Paul found strength and freedom not by fighting but by surrendering and following the Lord.
God is for us. His Grace will always be enough.
Receive the Grace that God has ready and wants to give to you.