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How God Unleashes His Power in Us

posted Jun 1, 2014, 4:06 PM by Website Administrator   [ updated Jun 1, 2014, 4:07 PM ]
April 27, 2014       
Key Passage: 2 Corinthians 4:1-15
 

“How God Unleashes His Power in Us”


“It’s doubtful God can bless any man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.”    A.W. Tozer


I think it’s safe to say that won’t be making anyone’s “feel good” quotes of the day!  However, let’s be candid…as Christian Americans, could we be any more narcissistic and unrealistic in our never-ending pursuit of a pain free life devoid of trouble and packed with happiness?!  Welcome to reality.  What we wish for is not what life serves up.  Christians do get sick; people die in accidents; loved ones suffer; we lose our jobs and face financial uncertainty; family members and friends break our hearts.  Simply stated, we’re hard-pressed, crushed, perplexed, persecuted and struck down.  That’s the good news.  The best news?  God’s power is perfected in our weaknesses.  When we die, He lives.  When we lose, He wins.  When we are weak, He is strong.  When we are dependent, He is powerful.  When we are tempted, He is triumphant.  God does this so that only He will get the glory.  Our sufferings unleash God’s power…

1. Life’s Brutal Truth – 2 Corinthians 4:7-9

    hard pressed – but not crushed (see 2 Corinthians 11:23-30)…The difference between the 
      Christian who faces trials and the non-Christian is that power is available to the 
      Follower from within, and that power is Christ himself.

    perplexed – but not in despair…I always seem to be in a state of perplexity, not 
      understanding what God is doing in my life.  It’s ok to look up to the Heavens and ask God, “Hey, Abba Father, what are you doing?!?”

    persecuted – but not abandoned…we may not face outright “persecution,” but we’ll 
      most certainly feel lonely and isolated at times because of our stand for Christ.  Jesus 
      himself says he will never leave, forsake, or abandon us.

    struck down – but not destroyed…let’s be completely honest here for a second.  The world couldn’t give two flips about your faith when things are going great.  They want to
      see us get knocked (struck) down…and then they want to see how we’re going to react.


2. Unleashing God’s Power – 2 Corinthians 4:10-15

Here’s life’s ultimate struggle for the Christian…we want the power of God, but we want to get credit for it too.  We want the “life of Jesus,” but we also want the satisfaction of our own flesh.  Hear me on this…we are not made righteous by trying to live for Christ, but by dying to self and to sin so that Christ’s life is lived out in us.  That’s the daily “taking up the cross,” the daily prayer of “less of me, more of you, Lord.”

Q: How can God be good and yet give us problems? (1 Sam. 2:6-7; Job 1-2; Psalm 119:67-72)
Q: How can we know whether to live with a problem or to pray for deliverance? (2 Cor. 12:7-10)

Bottom Line: It’s not by the exalting of the messenger that God’s power and glory are revealed, but by the breaking of the container that the contents are poured out.  Never forget…God is not fair – he is just.  There’s an enormous difference between the two.  The Bible has absolutely no qualms whatsoever about presenting a world where bad things can and do happen to good people and good things happen to bad people.  God doesn’t seem at all challenged about accepting responsibility for that which befalls us that we determine is “good” or “bad.”  The pill we have to swallow is this – our inability to accept these paradoxes is our problem, not God’s … frankly, problems / sufferings / disappointments are God’s gracious way of teaching us to seek Him in a deeper way than we ever have before.  Never forget – we need God more than we need anything from God!