One of my favorite and most applicable Bible passages is from 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. The apostle Paul had a “thorn in the flesh”, a physical problem (like we may have prostate cancer) which God chose not to alleviate at this point. After pleading with God three times to remove the thorn, God told Paul (and us) that “my grace is sufficient for you, for (God’s) power is perfected in (our) weakness”; to which Paul replied “most gladly therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, insults, distresses, persecutions and difficulties (like prostate cancer) for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Paul learmed the secret of being an overcomer. Maintain God’s perspective on the ups and downs of life and access His power. Paul was firmly convinced that having the person of the Holy Spirit living in him meant that God’s power was available to him. (Note: when a person places their entire faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection for forgiveness of their sins and the gift of eternal life, and submits their will to follow God’s direction, then the Holy Spirit comes to live within that person and a personal relationship with God and Jesus is established and empowered.)
Therefore, we too can learn to be at peace while the storms of life rage around us. The first step is to know and believe that the power of God is within us through the presence of His Spirit. We must then accept that God’s priority for us is our transformation into Christ’s image and not necessarily comfortable circumstances. Diligently seeking to maintain Jesus’ perspective on trials is also important. He said in John 16:33, “these things I have spoken to you that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world.” Until we settle such matters of faith, true contentment will evade us.
Having embraced these truths, we can learn to use the divine power of the risen Christ. The key lies in submitting our will to His. Then instead of reacting to life based on our own weaknesses and desires, we will switch to responding on the basis of God’s will and the fact that we belong to Christ. We will be able to consciously surrender ourselves to the Lord and His pattern for our life. Yielding control to the Holy Spirit allows God’s perfect will to be done and enables us to accept it. When we can honestly say “God whatever You chooses to send will be all right with me”, then we will experience the inner peace Jesus promised to us. (“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled nor let it be fearful.” John 14:27).
Divine perspective, surrender and firm faith- these are the ingredients for the victorious, overcoming life.
The preceding was adaped from In Touch Ministries devotionals, April 17th, 2017, by Dr.Charles Stanley.