Thursday, November 15, 2012

"There Are Benefits"

"Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." 2 Corinthians 12:10
Who would "take pleasure" in infirmities, persecution, distress? That is unheard of. We take pleasure in just the opposite- freedom from them. Yet the apostle rejoiced in the fact that he was going through such hardships. The word for pleasure means: to do willingly; to be well pleased with, to be favorably inclined toward. One might think that either Paul was crazy or he had discovered something good about them.
The fact is, he did find something beneficial. He understood that it was in those times that he discovered that the power of Christ rest upon him. It was in the times of infirmities that he discovered strength instead of weakness. It was during such trials that he saw the marvelous grace of God, the peace of God that passes understanding, the wisdom of God manifested, and the glory of God revealed. 
A friend and I were talking the other day about her son. He is still in high school and also has a part time job. She said he loves his job but not school. She wised he was equally as excited about school as he is about the job. The reason he like his job more is because he sees the benefits from it-- a pay check. He doesn't see the benefits of school at the moment but the education he is getting now will benefit him throughout the rest of his life. We are like this young man, we see more benefits in having a carefree, easy, no problems life. We like those things that give us "instant gratification" and make us happy now. The things that Paul described don't. Yet, just because we don't see the benefits at the moment, just because we don't see how anything good can come from them, there are benefits that we receive that will sustain us for the rest of our lives.
While not everything we go through is good, there is something beneficial that can come out of it- God will see to it because He knows how to work all things together for our good. When we start looking at our trials in this light, then we too will find ourselves "taking pleasure" in them instead of complaining about them. 
Have a great day. Look at what you are going through in light of the benefits that are attached to it. 
For further reading:
Romans 8:28; 5:1-5
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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell
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