I am well content… 2 CORINTHIANS 12:10

“I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 CORINTHIANS 12:10

My Pondering

Here we another power paradox; a dynamic dichotomy. “For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

This is ONLY because ‘through just pain there is great gain.’ When it comes to the supernatural real like this verse, then ONLY may this happen when our motivation is for Christ Jesus’s glory. He is the reason for the season for eternity.

2 Corinthians 13:4 For He was indeed crucified in weakness, yet He lives by God’s power. And though we are weak in Him, yet by God’s power we will live with Him to serve you

Romans 5:3 And not only this, but we also celebrate in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

We Christians no doubt have resilient power in Christ and in this when we execute boldly on behalf of Jesus.

I really like this statement:

A successful person views his or her life experiences—the good as well as the bad—through the lens of purpose. They realize that God is able to use all of it to fulfill His calling on their lives.

Whatever is in your past—the good as well as the bad—God will use it for good if you will let Him. Resist the tendency to grow hardhearted and bitter, and instead, choose a path that will help you move past your past. God wants to use the good and bad experiences of your life and to shape your destiny.

Tony Evans, Called for a Purpose

And this all collimates in the great chapter 8 of Romans with this hall mark verse:

Romans 8:28 God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him and called to His purpose.

A huge edge we ‘enlightened’ humans have over the rest of God’s creation is that we can control and choose to ‘think about what we think about’. When something happens to us, we can choose to respond, not merely re-act.

Ultimately, we can be better or bitter because of the meaning behind it. Knowledge is important, attitude more so. Knowledge get you on the right path, attitude keeps your there – hopefully with joy and Jesus.

My Prayer

Jesus, you are way, the light and the truth. Direct me to the abundant life. Help me respond in a WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?]manner.

I can do all things through Christ… – Philippians 4:13

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”
Philippians 4:13 NKJV

My Pondering

By reading the verse before and after, we can gather deeper meaning from this hallmark verse (as is a solid process to interpret Scripture). Here is the passage:

12 I know how to live humbly, and I know how to abound. I am accustomed to any and every situation—to being filled and being hungry, to having plenty and having need.

13 I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

14 Nevertheless, you have done well to share in my affliction.

Philippians 4:12-14

Another solid technique is taking Scripture in fuller context by studying related verses. This requires additional maturity because it’s easy to bend them to our particular perspective. Though that isn’t always bad so long as it fits as intended. Scripture is active and alive while is totally resolute and perfect. Meaning is is full depth and the Spirit guides and reveals different angles as we grow and live. Ponder that for a moment, if wish.

For our mutual edification, I included three other verses:

2 Corinthians 12:9
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me.

Ephesians 3:16
I ask that out of the riches of His glory He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being,

Colossians 1:11
being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have full endurance and patience, and joyfully

Many people, well at least I have and from my POV (point of view) take Phil 4:13 meaning as Christ will supernatural empower us to overcome every problem in some awesome powerful crushing kind of way. Kind of like how the Jews back in Jesus’s earth walking days expected the Messiah to behave; to put down their oppressors with force and uplift them into glory.

Sometimes He does just that by us. And other times He strengthens us to endure joyfully.

This leads us back to Romans 8:28 – God causes all things to work together for good, to those who love Him and called to His purpose.

That one I have well memorized and cling to often. It is the center of the mark, IMO (in my opinion). Phil 4:13 and Romans 8:28 are like two great engines, like two strong oxen that should drive us to greatness.

No sane person desires affliction. That is counter to nature and our physical well being. Yet, when it’s unavoidable, when it’s a divine wrath akin (albeit in a mini-way) to Christ’s suffering that is often when we truly feel His power and really know Him. Many other verses attest to this.

Can you think of one or more?

If so, please drop them in the comments and share you take.

My Prayer

Lord, help me overcome everything in a way that glorifies You. Either by abounding through conquering or patiently and joyfully preserving. You ideal path and providence is for good yet what is good is not always pleasurable. Please empower Your Spirit to help and guide me.

God has given each of you a gift… – 1st Peter 4:10

“God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts.
Use them well to serve one another”
– 1 Peter 4:10

My Pondering

We have natural talents and honed skills but spiritual gifts take it to another level. It’s like operating in ‘the zone’ more and more often. As a Christian, I know I have received at least one. I believe I have two or three. How about you?

We are called in this passage to use them well. And there is also our call for our personal participation required ‘use the well’. And we see one of our paramount life purposes: to serve others.

Here is another passage that compliments it.

“To each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”

EPHESIANS 4:7

This is awesome:

Many Christians fail to maximize their calling simply because they are not aware of their spiritual gifts. They may be stuck trying to utilize a talent rather than seeking God for the gifts He has given to them or discovering how God wants to transform their talents into gifts. Other Christians fail to maximize their calling because they do not know that they even have a gift.

But if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you have a spiritual gift. In fact, you probably have several. God has equipped you with the necessary skills to fulfill the destiny for which You were made. God will provide everything you need to do what He calls you to do. So if you are trying to do something you cannot do, either you are not in your calling, or you are not exercising the gift God has given to you and that He intends you to use.

You can be sure God will prepare you to fulfill His purpose for you. Ephesians 4:7-8 says, “To each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says, ‘WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.’”

Tony Evans, Called for a Purpose

Is that so exciting and true?

My Prayer

God, You already won. I am Yours. You are mine. Done deal!

Help me seize what is mine and not ignore the precious gifts.

God’s time, God’s speed – Ecclesiastes 3:11

“He has made everything appropriate in its time.
He has also set eternity in their heart.”
Ecclesiastes 3:12

My Pondering

As Solomon teaches us, gifted by God as the wisest of all, we need to understand time has rhythm. Time has its seasons. A time for this and a time for that.

1To everything there is a season,

and a time for every purpose under heaven:

2a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to break down and a time to build,

4a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5a time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

6a time to search and a time to count as lost,

a time to keep and a time to discard,

7a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

Solomon, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Time is limited and time is also eternal (a great paradox) as we are hybrid beings; possessing both a physical and spiritual composition.

I really like this quote:

If we lose sight of eternity because of a myopic focus on the present moment, we will lose out on the greater plan God has in store for us.

When seeking and living out your destiny, always remember that it is inextricably tied to eternity.

Tony Evans

Our relation to time is some combination of past, present and future.

Successful people keep those in appropriate contexts and prioritize. In our physical nature, the present is paramount. We need to live and love in the now. No time like the present. It’s a precious gift, so let’s use it well.

Timing is an essential ingredient in everything, in all facets of our life. Consider how time relates to these dichotomies:

  • Work / Rest
  • Now / Later
  • Yesterday / Tomorrow
  • Peace / War
  • Abundance / Scarcity
  • Summer / Winter
  • Spring / Fall
  • Progress / Setback
  • Success / Challenge
  • Pleasure / Pain
  • Up / Down
  • Present / Eternity
  • Thinking / Imagination
  • Math / Philosophy
  • More / Less
  • Health / Sickness
  • Strength / Weakness
  • Humility / Pride
  • Multiplication / Division
  • Plans / Serendipity
  • Effort / Providence
  • Faith / Works
  • Sleep / Woke

In proper context, in God’s timing, in understanding the big picture we need both sides. These aren’t rights / wrongs but rather good / great.

God’s speed is perfect under each particular circumstance. The better we can sync our actions to God’s speed, the greater our impact for His glory shall be. We have to realize there is a lot we can not control yet there is also a lot we can influence.

Ultimately, God’s way are higher then our ways. God way are mysterious at times. He is not bound by time yet He created it and thus relates to us by it.

Yes – we need to use our faculties and tools, yet ultimately we need to trust God for His timing, His provision, His way is best.

These three verses, one from the old and two from the new sum this up succinctly:

5Trust in the LORD with all your heart,

and lean not on your own understanding;

6in all your ways acknowledge Him,

and He will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

28And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28

‘For in Him we live and move and have our being.’

Acts 17:28a

As far as our lives:

“If it’s to be, it’s up to me and He.
A lot more He than me but I thank God it’s We”
– Kirk A Booher

In the aforementioned quote: God and I (or you) both represent the ‘We’. The first letter and capital ‘W’ is for ‘Wonderful’ and ‘Winner’ 🥇 God and the second letter, the connected smaller case ‘e’ which stands for ‘engaged’. Engaged has in position to by Groom and engaged as in actively serving. That ‘e’ is for me (or you).

My Prayer

Time is precious but not near as precious as You my God. Nothing compares to You. Please help me to use my time wisely.

God, being rich in mercy… Ephesians 2:4-6

My Pondering

God is love. This is love in action. By one man, we all fell down. By one man, the God man, we who believe and have faith, were raised us up and have been seated with Christ. Can you imagine that?

This has positionally been done. Someday, it shall be physically done in our new and improved Heavenly super bodies.

Yeah, He did that. He is doing that. And He most certainly shall do that.

IF, huge two letter word, you simply acknowledge your condition being worldly ensnared in sin, affirm your Savior’s gospel deed, and willfully accept Jesus as Christ of your life.

  • Acknowledge
  • Affirm
  • Accept

I did that back on September 9th, 1995. How about you?

If not yet, then this next verse could be for you.

For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you.

On the day of salvation, I helped you.”

Indeed, the “right time” is now.

Today is the day of salvation.

2nd Corinthians 6:2

My prayer

Thank YOU for taking the initiative to save my soul. Thank YOU for making a way when there was none. Thank YOU for your love.

Your turn

What say you, dear reader?

The LORD takes pleasure… Psalms 147:11

“The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him,
in those who hope in His mercy.”
Psalms 147:11

My Pondering

We are trapped in our skin, the flesh of self surrounds us. We were born under sin with it lead dross hopelessly weighing us down beneath the pure and fresh air.

It’s really not our fault as it just happened upon our birth. Yet, it is our responsibility and burden.

We must have a holy fear and respect for God’s awesomeness. Fathom that! It is a recurring theme. So show Him His just due. After-all, the Lord God created everything from nothing, yeah that is something and then some!

He isn’t just awe-some, He is awe-all, at least sooner or later. (Hint – sooner is much better 🙂

So let’s muster up our hope for that brings Him pleasure. His pleasure should be our primary purpose. When we do that, when we give our utmost for His highest, then the loop is complete.

He made it such, that what goes around ⚛️comes around ⚛️, sooner or later. (Again, sooner the better)

The bottom line, is we are under water. We need someone out of this water to save us.

Ponder this meme pic for a moment. Reflect upon this paradoxical verse.

God is awe!

Hope in Him indeed floats! Yes, hope floats.

BONUS

As a Christian, we are lock to Jesus hand to hand. He is pulling us to shore. So long as we don’t reject Him, nothing can separate us. His strong arm keep us snug and tight.

The Spirit is gentle enough not to rip our arm out of socket yet firm enough to remain secure. Brother and sisters, abide in the Holy Spirit apparatus. Just breathe thru the snorkel. Put on your Biblical mask so you can truly see under water clearly.

The deep divers have their master certifications. They’ve got spiritual scuba gear to explore the seas depths searching for wonders, treasures and other shipwrecked sailors. They return what they find to the Savior. They help rescue the perishing. Once saved, they help others find the Mercy Ship.

This song by sung by the man in black, sums it up well: Let the lower lights be burning.

Prayer

LORD, You know our desperate need better than we do. LORD help us. Help us help others in Jesus’s name.