Today, I want to experiment with a form of journaling that I learned a few years ago and was recently reminded of.
H – Highlight
2 Corinthians 12:7–10 – 7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
E – Explain
After talking about some of his most wonderful spiritual experiences, the apostle Paul also tells the Corinthian church about a weakness in his life, a thorn in the flesh. Though we do not know what that thorn is, we know that it was troubling to Paul, a difficult weakness. Paul begged the Lord to remove it, but God knew that it was better for Paul to live with his hardship. That hardship would prevent Paul from falling into the sin of conceit or arrogance. In the end, the Lord tells Paul that his grace is sufficient for Paul. The apostle needs God’s loving grace far more than he needs success, even in his battle against this thorn in the flesh.
A – Apply
Gods’ grace is what I need. There are many things I’d like to change. My tendency is to complain about them. I think I often forget that God is graciously working his will in me in and through the parts of my life that I want changed. His glory is demonstrated in my weakness. His grace is magnified even when I really wish he would just let things go well for me.
R – Respond
What should I do with this? First, I need to remember this truth the next time I’m tempted to grumble or complain. God’s strength is perfect and his grace is sufficient. God is more concerned about his glory in my life than he is about my success. I should be too.
Prayer: Lord, I acknowledge that your strength is perfect and your grace is sufficient. I confess that it is far too easy for me to let myself be discouraged or to complain about hardships. This does not honor you, and so I repent. I pray that you will remind me that your sufficient grace and eternal glory is good, far better than any success or freedom I want would grant me. Help me to glorify you, honoring you through the weaknesses and hardships I face.