Hard Lesson

The Apostle PaulEvery believer must learn that human weakness and divine grace go hand in hand together… The prayers of God’s people are never unheard, and they are never unheeded; but every believer must learn the lesson that God’s answer to a particular petition, as with Paul here, may be “No”, plus the revelation of some better way… Delay in answering in intended to test the earnestness of the petitioner and to emphasize his utter dependence upon divine mercy… Not to receive what one asks for does not mean not to receive at all; for the Heavenly Father always and only gives good things… Paul’s theology is one of unclouded joy and impregnable security precisely because of the complete adequacy of God’s grace in Christ to meet and make good the complete inadequacy of sinful man in the presence of his holy Creator. (Philip Edgecumbe Hughes)

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. 2 Corinthians 12:9


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