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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

No Tie-Breaker Needed

To keep me from becoming conceited… there was given me a thorn in my flesh…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” 
2 Corinthians 12:7-10a

Recently, one of the children in “Family Circus”, said, “Mother said No. Daddy said Yes. I’m going to Grandmother and ask her to break the tie.” That may work in a family, but with our God, there is no tie-breaker. His Yes is Yes and His No is No.
The apostle Paul learned this well. After his dramatic conversion, God sent him to carry the Good News to the Gentiles. With fellow believers, their travels took them as far as Turkey and Greece. Along the way, Paul faced many trials – he was flogged, beaten, imprisoned, and shipwrecked.
Churches were established and many became followers of Jesus Christ. Paul was evidently tempted to think that this was all his doing. He evidently was tempted to get a little puffed up and boast. It wasn’t his personality or his enthusiasm, but the message of his Savior. Our scripture relates his confession and God’s very definitive answer.
Reading further in his letters, we learn that Paul quit focusing on the problem and began to appreciate it, realizing that it was Christ’s strength working in him. He confesses that the weaker he got the stronger he became because he let God take over.
After Paul pleaded with God three times to take away his thorn, he accepted God’s answer. Not only did he accept God’s answer, but he was cheerful about it and controlled his words.
How would we have reacted? I don’t believe God gets angry by our repeated requests. The sooner we learn that His No is No, we can follow Paul’s example and bring glory to Him with our attitude and our actions.
Lynda S.      

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