Tag Archives: 2 Corinthians

Valley of Broken Promises

“I will always love you.”

“Till death do us part.”

“I’ve got your back; you don’t have to worry about this round of layoffs.”

These are promises many of us have heard only to find out they have been broken. Many of us have found ourselves walking through the valley of broken promises on more than one occasion. We were given a promise, but the promise wasn’t kept. Words were flowing freely, but the commitment was not behind them. Many may break promises, but there is One who will not send us to the valley of broken promises.

The Lord is faithful, and he always keeps his promises.

  • Psalm 12:6 says, “The Lord’s promises are pure,
        like silver refined in a furnace,
        purified seven times over.”
  • Numbers 19:23 says, “God is not a man, so he does not lie.
        He is not human, so he does not change his mind.
    Has he ever spoken and failed to act?
        Has he ever promised and not carried it through?”

Looking through history reveals God’s flawless record of keeping his promises. He promised Abraham he would become a great nation, and Abraham did. He promised Israel they would possess the land of Canaan and they did. The Lord promised Israel manna in the desert, and the manna showed up just as he said. The Lord is faithful in keeping his promises.

  • 2 Corinthians 1:20 says, “For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.”
  • Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.”

For you and I, this means the promises we find within Scripture are true. The promises we cling to in the middle of the night are true. The promises we rely on in rough times are true. The promises in which we place our hope for a better tomorrow will be fulfilled. The Lord’s promises are true.

Choose to claim the promises we find in Scripture about our family, finances, and future, and cling to them. They are true because God always keeps his promises!

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What is your biggest weakness?

Our weakness could be a strength.

Job interviews are a necessary evil. Sitting across from a stranger answering a series of questions can be an anxious time. Providing the answer, the interviewer wants to hear is our challenge. Some questions are easy, other questions are hard, and there is the one dreaded question. It seems to find its home in every interview. What is your biggest weakness?

This is a hated question. If we truly discuss our weaknesses, we may lose the job. If we lie, we may lose our integrity. Answering this question is tricky, so much advise has been offered.

Don’t say something like, “Those eyes of yours.” Experts recommend giving a skill-based weakness and immediately following up with an improvement plan. We dread discussing our weaknesses because society views them as a problem. However, the Lord takes a different approach. He takes a better approach.

For God, our weaknesses are an opportunity.

God gave Moses the ultimate job interview. Moses was tending sheep and noticed a bush aflame, but it was not consumed by the fire. Curiosity pushed Moses to investigate, and the Lord started his interview.

God was calling Moses to lead Israel out of Egypt to the promised land. Moses, however, believed his weaknesses would keep him from accomplishing the job.

Moses stuttered. In his mind, this meant there would be absolutely no way he could speak to Pharaoh concerning the Lord. Moses attempted to convince the Lord he was not the right man for the job, but God responded, “I gave you the mouth you have, so it will be fine.”

Differing Viewpoints

Moses’ stuttering was viewed from two perspectives. This made the difference.

Moses’ Viewpoint

Moses viewed his stuttering as a problem. It would keep him from completing the assignment. No one would listen to him because he couldn’t speak clearly.

Can you relate to Moses? You know your goals, dreams, and purpose, but you believe your inadequacies will prevent achievement and fulfillment. I believe this is a struggle for most people. We feel unqualified, and that feeling paralyzes us.

God’s Viewpoint

God viewed Moses’ stuttering as an opportunity. Stuttering did not prevent Moses from leading Israel; in fact, it enhanced his leadership. It provided an opportunity for the Lord’s power to be displayed, and it kept Moses reliant on the Lord.

Like Moses, our weaknesses cannot prevent us from fulfilling our purpose. Our weaknesses may even be a benefit.

Weaknesses can become a strength.

Our weaknesses can become a strength.

In 2 Corinthians 12:9, the Lord says, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”

The Lord’s power works best in weakness; when we are weak, he is strong. The Lord’s power can be magnified in our weaknesses.

Just ask Joseph, Peter, and Paul. Joseph found himself in a heap of trouble, but with the Lord’s help became the governor of Egypt. In a moment of weakness, Peter denied the Lord, but was forgiven and used to launch the church. Paul struggled with an undisclosed weakness, but the Lord used him as a missionary and author of much of the New Testament. The pages of Scripture are filled with accounts of weaknesses becoming opportunities for the Lord’s power.

We can be encouraged by knowing the Lord has a plan, and he works in moments when we are weak. In weakness, we request help, and with power, the Lord responds.

He did for Moses. Moses had a weakness in speech, so the Lord provided Aaron as a spokesperson. Weakness did not prevent Moses from accomplishing God’s calling, and weakness will not prevent us.

Acting

Challenge yourself to change the way you view your weaknesses. Try viewing them as an opportunity for the Lord to work. Share the adventure in the comments below.

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Not Home

“This is my temporary home. It’s not where I belong.”

Music is a messenger for the Lord’s message, and the message is often absorbed by the listener without realizing it. The message is interwoven in lyrics which capture our attention and grab our hearts. Temporary Home, by Carrie Underwood, is a powerful deliverer of the Lord’s message.

The song reminds us where we are now is only a temporary home. It is not a permanent stop; we’re passing through on the way to our permanent home.

2 Corinthians 5:1 says, “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in Heaven not built by human hands.”

This verse helps you and I realize we are not home. Notice we are living in the temporary, a tent, now, and it will be replaced with the permanent, a building, in the future. What we experience now is only temporary.

2 Corinthians 5 continues, “For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened because we do not wish to be unclothed but clothed instead with our Heavenly dwelling. So that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.”

This is our temporary home. It’s not where we belong. Our permanent home, the one where we belong, will be in the future. We can look forward to it.

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Check out 4 Exciting Facts about Heaven.

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Grace is Enough

God said no. Three requests were made for God to remove a thorn from Paul’s flesh, but each was met with a no. “My grace is all you need,” the Lord told Paul. “My power works best in weakness.”

Are you struggling today?

Life is filled with struggles. Everyone struggles with something, and I don’t know of anyone who enjoys struggling. Our struggles are hard. They cause stress, overwhelming feelings, and anxiety. It seems struggle has a way to latch onto our weaknesses and pull with all its might. Struggle is real, and the Bible has some encouragement for us.

You and I may be struggling with several difficulties today. It could be a physical disability daily. You may be struggling financially. You are out of work, and you are having trouble finding a job. Our struggle may be watching a loved one make mistake after mistake. As we struggle, the Lord assures us, “My grace is all you need. My power is made perfect in weakness.”

God’s grace is enough in our struggles.

Paul was no stranger to struggles. He had been imprisoned, shipwrecked, beaten, and had to spend a day and night in the open sea. He shares his struggles with us, and in 2 Corinthians 12:7, he tells us he has a thorn in his flesh, but he does not reveal the source of the thorn.

There is much discussion surrounding the source of Paul’s thorn. Some scholars believe it was a visual impairment caused either by malaria or his conversion experience in Acts 9. Other scholars believe it was Paul’s past. The fact he could not forget his mistakes from the years gone by.

A better explanation is the source of Paul’s thorn was intentionally not disclosed. He knew everyone struggles with something, so Paul chose not to give us the detailed source of his thorn. One person may struggle with a physical disability, while another person struggles with a cognitive challenge. A third person may have difficulty forgetting his or her past. No matter the source of our struggle, the Bible’s encouragement to us is the same.

2 Corinthians 12 says Paul asked the Lord to take the thorn away, but God answered, “My grace is sufficient in your weaknesses.”

Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me…for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

“My grace is all you need,” the Lord says. Through his grace he strengthens us when we are weak. Through his grace he helps us with that physical disability or cognitive challenge present in life. Through his grace he wipes away yesterday’s mistakes and helps us not focus on them. His grace is all we need.

When you and I struggle, the Lord helps us through his grace. Because of the Lord’s grace, our struggles cannot prevent us from doing some amazing work.

Because of grace, our struggles can’t prevent us from doing some amazing work.

God’s grace enabled Paul to overcome barriers and do some amazing work. He authored several New Testament books, started many churches, and introduced countless people to the Lord’s grace.

God’s grace will enable you and I to overcome barriers and accomplish the purpose for which we have been called.

Acting

What is God calling you to do? Allow his grace to help you overcome struggles to accomplish your purpose.

 

 

Hard times? Here is encouragement.

Going through a hard time? You are not alone. Life’s rough times are something we all share. 2 Corinthians offers us some encouragement during these times.

We read in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “That is why we never give up. Though are bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long, yet they produce a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever. So, we don’t look at the troubles we can see now. Rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

3 Points of Encouragement

We can find 3 points of encouragement in this passage.

Our Spirits are being Renewed

Paul says he may be wasting away physically, but spiritually, he is being renewed each day. Everything may be falling apart around us, but the Lord will still be with us. We are promised the Lord will not leave us or forsake us. As things crumble around us, we can find strength in the Lord. “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his spirit” (Ephesians 3:16).

Its Temporary

As we are overwhelmed by a rough situation, it can be hard to remember this. We are weary of the current circumstance and just want it to end. You may be amid an extremely hard time. I do not want to minimize the difficulties you have endured. You’re tired, so I hope you find encouragement in these words.

This is only a temporary time. One season of life always gives way to another. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 reminds us the present may be overwhelming, but it will not overtake us.

“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.”

Gaze at the Future

We are encouraged to look intently and steadily on the future. Look toward eternity in the presence of the Lord. We are promised there will be no more tears, heartache, difficulty, or struggles. We are encouraged to stare at eternity, peering into its beauty, glory, and majesty.

The Best is Coming

Whether in good times or bad, we know there is a better time coming. Eternity will be the best time. As we go through hard times, we can find comfort and encouragement in this promise.

Here are 4 Exciting Facts about Heaven.

Acting

Gaze at eternity and share how it encourages you in the comments. If you know someone who would benefit from this post, please share it with them.