Understanding Spiritual Victory in Physical Defeat

Understanding Spiritual Victory in Physical Defeat

Paul preached and said, "There was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of satan to buffet me." (2 Corinthians 12:7)

This was really a big problem given that to buffet means to hit violently and repeatedly over a long period of time with the intention of knocking the person off course.

The fact that Paul asked God to remove this messenger of satan from his life three times also shows us that it really disturbed him.

However, God did not remove this messenger of satan. What He did was make Paul understand why it was still in his life which was to stop Paul from becoming Exalted above measure. (2 Corinthians 12:7)

In addition, God also promised to help Paul with this problem for He told him, "My grace is sufficient for you because My strength is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9) 

Therefore even though Paul had "physical defeat" because the thorn was still in his flesh buffeting him, he also had "spiritual victory" because God had revealed to him why the thorn was in his flesh and said He would help him.

This thorn in the flesh represents physical things like those Paul talked about when he said, "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses for Jesus Christ's sake because when I am weak, then I am strong.(2 Corinthians 12:10) 

Thus we can see that a person can live in spiritual victory when they have an awesome revelations from God but still be in physical defeat because they are living with diseases, disapprovals, poverty, persecutions and other difficulties.

Consequently living under these physical conditions does not mean that a person is a spiritually weak Christian or that there is something wrong with their faith.

On the contrary, it can mean like in Paul's case that they are actually very strong Christians since they are drawing on God's strength to survive and continue serving Him under those harsh physical conditions. 

Therefore if you see a Christian living under austere physical conditions, do not judge them harshly without finding out what God has revealed to them about their situation. Do not also label them as living a defeated life because Jesus came for us to have an abundant life until you know all the spiritual facts of their situation.  

Likewise, if you find yourself living with problems that are hitting you violently and persistently, despite serving God faithfully like Paul, do not start doubting God. 

Continue drawing nearer to Him by prayer and worship for it is written Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8) so that you can know why those conditions are in your life and how He can help you deal with them.

How to pray effectively

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1 comment:

  1. Your post so reminds me of the book of Job and his perseverance. Great reminder that we do not always know what someone is suffering and God was so wise in this saying not to judge one another. Thanks for this scripture blessing reminder. :)

    Peabea@Peabea Scribbles


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