TOPIC:“God's Adequacy for Paul's Adversity”
TEXT:II Corinthians 12:1-10
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made
perfect in weakness” (II Corinthians 12:9)
When all of the Epistles of Saint Paul along with the book of Acts by the Apostle Luke are taken together, it becomes abundantly clear that Paul the Apostle, the greatest missionary of the first century, suffered more for Jesus Christ than any other man. It would be difficult to find anyone who drank so deeply at the fountain of Calvary than this man Paul. He who was once the persecutor became himself persecuted. The risen Lord mentioned this to Ananias when He said of Paul: “For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake” (Acts 9:16).
And suffer Paul did! He was subjected to every pain, every distress, every injury that makes war upon our bodies. He was brutally beaten by stones. He was shipwrecked three times at sea. He was savagely slashed by whippings. He faced danger and death times without number. He experienced pain, exhaustion, hunger, loneliness most of his life.
And throughout all of this Paul experienced God's sufficiency for every problem he faced. His God was big enough, and strong enough, and adequate enough to meet every difficulty and hardship he was called upon to go through. This is the truth he desires for each one of us to catch in the Bible verses before us. When we pass through the fire, when our faith is severely being tested, when we are under siege by Satan, it is in these circumstances that we must not lose heart, but rest in the confidence that God will bring us through them. Let us now come to our text and behold how God's adequacy was able to meet Paul's adversity.
Let's begin with this: Think of the PROBLEM Paul ENCOUNTERED. It is recorded for us in the words of Paul in verse 7: “there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.” The NLT renders . . .