My Grace is Sufficient

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January 22, 2019 by James Lindquist

I must be doing something right because the enemy has been hitting me hard. Judging by the stories out there, I’m not alone. It is evident Satan’s minions are working overtime at this hour. I’ve concluded that he and his gang are idiots, for the more they persecute us, the closer we get to God. I’m not worried at all about things not going right, I’m more worried that things will stop going wrong. I have learned that when things are going right, I may be going in the same direction as the enemy. Thus, if I am going in the same direction, why would Satan interfere with my actions? Paul said it best in 2 Corinthians 12:7b-10. Let’s give Paul of Tarsus the floor for a minute. I am sure he can clear this up.

v7b . . .So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.
v8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it [1] away,
v9 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.
v10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. [ 2 Corinthians 12:7b-10 NLT]

This may all sound contrary to a Christian life where all things are supposed to turn out good for those who love God [2]. May I refer you to the commercial, “. . .but wait, there’s more.” Of course, we want things to go right and smoothly, and so does God. However, what I am talking about is what Paul was talking about in verse 10 “. . .and troubles that I suffer for Christ.

What Paul and I are talking about is when I am trying to do something for Christ and the enemy comes in like a storm [3], I say to him, “Hit me with your best shot, fire away [4].” Then the Spirit of the Lord will rise up a standard against him and I will fear no evil, for thou art with me [5]. If God is for me (us), who can be against me (us) [6].

A few days ago, I was at my computer working on a fiction project for publication for about a year, and I clicked on save like I do periodically, when suddenly, the screen became inactive. I could see everything that I’d done but it was like the project was behind a dirty screen. I could not click on anything. The prompt in the upper left-hand corner read, “Scrivener not responding.” I still don’t know what happened. The only thing I can think of is that I gave the program too much to do on an old and slow machine. I had no choice but to shut it down.

All I had to do was reboot the computer and reopen Scrivener, which I did. To my chagrin everything was gone. All scenes, narrative, synopsis’, notes, everything. It was all gone. Months of work, gone. I located my backup and booted it, but because Scrivener saves every few seconds and when I booted, it must have saved that backup to be wiped out as well. I have no clue. It just happened and that’s a fact. I think a new computer is on the horizon.

This last year has not been the best year that I have ever had due to bad health, doctors, hospitals, and relationship losses. All I had left was what I was doing for the Lord, and it was gone. I’m sorry to say gang, I lost it. Hey, I’m human. You could have floated a toy boat on the tears. Then I went to my child mode and done a little screaming and questioning God. “Lord, what did I do to deserve all this. Whatever I’ve done, I’m sorry. Please forgive me.

The Lord let me bask in my self pity for a little more and then Christ as my witness I heard in my spirit, go to such and such folder. It wasn’t an audible voice but a voice you can feel in your knower. I wiped my eyes and squinted trying to focus on my computer, and there it was. I’d evidently changed backup location and I booted it and voila. All my work was restored. Before I shut down Scrivener, I backed everything to Word. I will continue to do that after each session. Go ahead, call me paranoid. I’m OK with that. LOL.

At one time, Paul didn’t fair so well either. Listen to him as he explains some of his troubles.

23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. [2 Corinthians 11:23-28 KJV]

And for all of Paul’s work to spread the word of God, for writing 2/3’s of the New Testament, and given the above Scriptures, his reward? Legend has it that Nero beheaded him. After reading Paul’s list, I can truthfully say, that I have no problems. Do any of us by comparison? Evidently, troubles and problems are relative words. Any thoughts?
_______________________________
[1] The word “it” refers to the thorn in the flesh of verse seven.
[2] Romans 8:28
[3] Isaiah 59:19
[4] Hit me with your best shot, by Pat Benatar
[5] Psalms 23:4
[6] Romans 8:31

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