A. You can turn to Old Testament passages and come to a conclusion that God is going to carnally bless the faithful (Psalms 128:1-6).
- You could think there are no troubles to be concerned about (Psalms 37:39-40).
- You could think God is good to us all (Psalms 145:9-16).
- The problem with using those passages is that they were for a time wherein God physically, directly worked in caring for His people (Deuteronomy 30:11-20) in a Law we are not under today (Romans 7:1-6).
- One could take passages with spiritual applications (Romans 8:28) [note context shows this is not physical well-being; Romans 8:31-39]; apply it physically, ignoring that the conclusion they draw is not reasonably correct (i.e. Acts 12:1-2, Acts 14:22, and I Peter 4:12-16).
- Some use Scriptures and miss the miraculous aspect of N.T. passages (I Thessalonians 3:11; cf. Acts 16:1-10) and how such does not apply today (I Corinthians 13:8-13).
- All of that aside, and we know what we’ve briefly just covered, let’s think about a statement made to Paul by the Lord in a context that is clearly miraculous.
II. Body: II Corinthians 12:1-10
A. Take Paul, who was capable through the Spirit of God of doing great things for other people (Acts 14:8-10, Acts 20:7-11, and Acts 28:1-10).
- He sought for his thorn in the flesh to be gone and could have easily thought the Lord’s words meant He’d receive it (Luke 11:1-13).
- However, the purpose of healing and such things was not for saints to have carnally comfortable lives (Mark 16:14-20).
- His lessons involved suffering through hardships (I Corinthians 4:11-12 and II Corinthians 11:27).
- He learned to live in a manner wherein he could have nothing, and yet feel as though he was rich (II Corinthians 6:10).
- It is not that we cannot enjoy life in this world (I Peter 3:10-11) or even prosper carnally (I Timothy 6:17-18) with balance (Psalms 62:10).
- We just should not need things to be “good” [carnally] for us to have joy and peace (Romans 5:1-3, II Thessalonians 2:15-17, and I Peter 1:6-9).
- That promise of life is through God’s grace (Romans 5:21).
- Unlike the treasures of this world (Proverbs 23:5), that inheritance won’t fade away (I Peter 1:4).
- We MUST keep the value of grace at the forefront of our minds with the hope of Heaven (Colossians 1:5-6) lest we trade it for a lesser enduring person, place, or thing (Mark 8:34-38).
- If we don’t consider God’s grace enough, something will make us bitter and we will fall away (Hebrews 12:15-17).
III. Conclusion: Don’t seek more from God. Saints have enough in the grace of God as Paul stated to the saints in Ephesus (Ephesians 2:1-10; cf. Acts 19:1-7).
© 1999-2021 Brian A. Yeager