So I put that “attitude” button on the left sidebar of my blog earlier this month, and I wrote my first post of the year about building a positive and thankful attitude in 2013.
Now I feel like I’ve largely abandoned the topic for the last 4 weeks. Time to refocus. And I’ve got an idea.
I’m going to blog a monthly study of sorts, all relating back to attitude. I expect it will be an insightful and educational (read challenging) endeavor for me, but I also sincerely hope the reflections and scripture I pick each month will be helpful to those who follow along.
I think I’ll normally aim to post this mid-month so I can link up with Melanie at Only A Breath, who creates these cool buttons. Speaking of, here’s another.
I’ve nearly missed January, so here goes…
“Even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God, to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from satan to torment me. Three times I begged The Lord to take it away. And each time He said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:8-9 (NLT)
Another, more familiar, translation of verse 9 is this, “But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (NIV)
(If you’ve got your own bible handy, look up 2 Corinthians and see how your translation puts it.)
Made perfect in weakness.
Nobody likes weakness, do they? Feeling weak means we may not have the power to change things on our own. Whether it’s hurt, insecurity, depression, anger, guilt, or just plain feeling overwhelmed.
And Paul’s not asking God for something small to be fixed. He’s literally being tormented by Satan. But The Lord’s will in this case isn’t to take away this “thorn”. Instead, it’s for Paul to shift his attitude and see weakness as something that allows God’s power to fully shine.
What does this mean for us, for you and me, today?
Much the same as it meant for Paul, I think. When troubles come, and they surely will, Christ is the only place we need to look for strength. His answer might be to fix the problem, or it might be to help us get through it. But however it works out, He will be right there by our side.
During the good times too, He is right there next to us. That part is easy to discount, but it doesn’t make God’s presence with us any less real.
The world is good at telling us we can do it ourselves. I can’t count the number of times I hear messages about “taking care of number one” and “looking deep within yourself for strength.”
It drives me nuts.
(Well, I suppose that second one is partially true if Christ lives within you.)
The point is, we can’t do it all alone. We are created in God’s image to worship and love Him and to have a living relationship with Him. That means trusting Him through thick and thin. It means having a positive attitude about the challenges we face — even if God doesn’t fix them the way we want.
We can and should have faith that ultimately things will work out. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”
His will is perfect. We can rest secure in trusting Him to give us the strength we need to weather life’s storms AND enjoy its many blessings.
I hope you can find rest and peace in Christ for whatever weaknesses and hardships are brewing in your life right now. If you have any comments on this first attitude study or suggestions for future editions, I’d love to hear them!