By Kevin Hogg

Our world is beset with problems – not surprising given the circumstances. We perceive problems with society, the government, local authorities, our neighbours, our job. For some, it is their relationships.

Humanities superpower is to create problems or become convinced that there are problems. The reasons for this are varied. Maybe we are frustrated and whilst these moments ( it must be said that these moments can last years) we are only focusing on the negative. Maybe our personality types lend us to be critical. Maybe our selfishness, procrastination is causing the problem. These are the more obvious ones.

It strikes me that God views difficulties differently. Where we see issues, problems and ultimately sin. God see potential. As many of you will notice out, this analogy only goes so far as all analogies.

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. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

What jumps out at me when reading this verse is that sin and problems lead to opportunity. Opportunity to do good or highlight the good work of God. Maybe an otherwise unreachable heart is softened enough to allow the word to plant a seed. What happens with that seed is not our problem. It is God opportunity. The parable of the sower comes to mind along with the parable of the farmer.

It is good that we worry about the souls of others. Or that we hope to pray that the seed planted will prosper. Managing expectations is the issue here. We are mistaken of the opinion that our moment is the correct or only moment. Maybe other pieces need to come into play to make the seed grow.

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:28-29


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