March 26 2023

It’s been a rough, rough few weeks, and waking countless times throughout the night, with pain from the incurable debilitating diseases, especially these past nights. Walking less, as it becomes harder, difficulty trying to get up of a chair, and in bed more from weakness and pain most if not all days. My dear wife said apart from seeing one of my grandchildren and medical appointments, I have been in bed for weeks. “But God…”… hope this will encourage you in your own difficulties…

Paul wrote about HOPE amidst tribulations “…And HOPE does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”-{Rom 5:5}.

Scriptural Hope is confident Expectation in the certainty of eternal realities such as God’s goodness, and keeping His Word.

No matter what you are going through, keep reminding yourself this is not God’s final destination for you. It is not the conclusion but a chapter in your story on the way to your ultimate destination to be with God Himself!

As difficult as the circumstances you will not remain in them for eternity for you are like the sheep whom the Shepherd leads “THROUGH” the valley of difficulties so as you and me. We are going “THROUGH” they are temporal, not ETERNAL. I love the verse in Psalm 23:4 “even though I walk THROUGH the valley of difficulties I will fear no evil for You are WITH me Your Rod and staff they COMFORT me.”

There are times when God delivers us FROM difficulties,- “But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered FROM the lion’s mouth.”- {2 Timothy 4:17} but also times in His wisdom He has us remain in them such as when He did so with Paul and his “thorn.”-“And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected IN weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”-{Read 2 Cor 12:9}.

Yet, IN his painful difficulty we see God sustains Paul with grace, the empowering to honor, and indeed glory in Him as he understood His grace was sufficient for him and His power was made perfect in his weakness. He understood this, and his response was to glory in Him and His provision and what He knew concerning God’s role and Grace in his difficulty. “… because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”- {2 Cor 12:7-10}. Paul had HOPE, not a “wish so,” but a confident expectation of the LORD to meet him IN his difficulty and in His provisions of Grace, Power IN his weaknesses!

Hope in his difficulties was found and supplied by the same LORD who had granted him the great privilege of “theses surpassing revelations, ” who also had granted the “thorn,” not as a punishment but a preventative from spiritual pride!{ v7}

  • Encourage yourself with who God is as revealed in His Word.
  • Don’t listen to the lies listen to what God says in His Word and speak the truth continuously to yourself. “Whatever is TRUE… let your mind DWELL on”-{Phil 4:8}. True about Him, True about you “In Christ” True about His Promises. True about your final destination!
  • Difficulties are to be expected {James 1:2}
  • Difficulties can be of Spiritual Benefit; God uses them for a purpose, including deepening our dependence upon Him-{2 Cor 12:9} and also developing us spiritually-{Read Rom 5:3-4}. And displaying His Glory!-{Read 1 Cor 10:31;John 15: John 21:19}

Difficulties Are Temporal But you dear friend will live everlasting, with the Eternal God !

“…And HOPE does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”-{Rom 5:5}.

Hope in God!

God bless,