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Sufficient Grace

    by Shelly Weiss

The Christian Life
Date Posted: May 12, 2007
There is a difference between complaining about suffering versus sharing faith through suffering. Living for God does not mean life will run smoothly; sometimes, living for God is a life of continuous turmoil and trials. Hardships and afflictions are not necessarily caused by sin as some may imply (John 9:1-3). When things keep going wrong and we are faced with trial after trial, barrier after barrier, it is so easy to question, ‘maybe this isn’t God’s will’. But so many stories in scripture disprove the thought that hard times come from disobedience - reading the book of Job alone nullifies such thought. Faith is easy when life is easy… true faith is trusting God through the trials, tribulations, and afflictions. When He has carried you through enough ‘impossible situations’, faith comes easier. You may not know how you will get through the next crisis, but you do know that God will make a way when there is no way. Paul used his life experiences to teach others, defend himself, and glorify God. On the surface, reading his account in 2 Corinthians 11:21-33 could make one think Paul had a chip on his shoulder. Maybe he did. Yet knowing everything he suffered, endured, and persevered through for the sake of the Gospel provides a fine example of hardships Christian life can involve. The Psalms are filled with personal experiences of what God has done in the writers’ life. Reading the verses brings comforting reassurance that even a man as great as David dealt with guilt, selfishness, despair, pain, and loneliness. And even Jesus’ exclamation ‘My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?’ shows us how Jesus himself felt abandoned (among other painful feelings). Sometimes I hesitate in being so open with my circumstances, blogging about my weaknesses and sharing trials that I encounter. Words are so powerful and so easily misinterpreted, especially written words. It’s one thing to risk being misunderstood and giving myself a bad name; but the possibility of giving others an inaccurate perspective of Jesus (although it would definitely be unintentional!) is enough to scare me in to silence. But that is what the Enemy wants. Satan doesn’t want others to know how our relationship with Jesus impacts who we are. He doesn’t want us to share ways God makes himself known on a regular basis, speaking through what non-believers call ‘coincidences,’ and regularly witnessing true miracles. Yet that is how Jesus tends to be glorified, when we witness someone’s strength, grace, and love when such quality is beyond human comprehension. When we see people praising the Lord despite paralysis, illness, oppression and injustice, that is the light of Jesus shining through darkness. John 4:49 says it best; “Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” When hard times occur, it’s important to do what Joseph did when he came face to face with the brothers who were so cruel to him- use what was meant as harm for good. Genesis 50:20,21: You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children." And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them. Once again, the Christian life is not always easy, but it is good… on many different levels.

"'Christ in You...'" from Dale Krebbs

The Prayer Chair

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Biography Information:
Shelly is a 30 something year old licensed therapist with cerebral palsy who is transitioning onto a whole new path in her life. As someone who was never limited by her disability, through recent declines in her health and abilities, God is humbling her despite her stubborn resistance. She is closer to Jesus than she ever has been as He carries her with His strength, protects her with His armor, and empowers her with His Spirit.She uses her writing and speaking gifts to fulfill her ultimate purpose of bringing glory to God through her life.
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