Is anything impossible for God? No of course not. By His very nature what He says simply is, for creation lies in the power of His words. However, sometimes He chooses to do things, or not to do things that baffle our human minds. In our limited understanding we may question God, the devil might get in our ear and even cause us to doubt the goodness of God, but if we will but trust in His infinite wisdom and unfailing love, and seeking Him for understanding, wait patiently until all be revealed, we will always see a greater purpose in our pain then the pain itself. Not unlike the pain of delivering a child, once the reason for that pain comes forth it becomes not only worth it all.
Often times those greatest in the faith endure the most afflictions. This seems counter intuitive to us, but I’m sure the process of pruning seems counter intuitive to the tree. How can cutting away its beautiful lively luscious branches until it looks mangled and near death be helping the tree? Yet it is a time proven fact that no amount of water, fertilizer, or babying can compare to the amount of fruit that comes forth in its season then from the act of pruning.
Likewise, sometimes we must be pruned also. We need certain things to be cut away in order for us to become fruitful to our fullest potential. However, sometimes God will also allow things to come upon us not for our good but for the good of others. This is a trial of faith that is reserved for God’s most loyal and trusted soldiers. For example, Job went through his great trials for you and me. So that you and I might draw faith from His unwavering resolve in the midst of utter brokenness. That once knowing his plight we might (as Paul said) follow after his example as he followed after God, and in the face of unimaginable sorrow and suffering, be able to say as he did “yet though you slay me, still will I serve you!
“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” – 1 Corinthians 10:11
Remember that according to zither book of Revelations, we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony, because the testimony validates the power of the blood and the testimony only comes by way of a test. For it is the testing of that faith that creates a testimony of faith!
Then there is this, sometimes there are those that God trust so deeply and desires to use so greatly that for the sake of humility He must allow an infirmity. Moses might have been thought a god if it had not been for the frailties of a speech impediment. He surely was no god, the man could hardly speak, yet God chose him to be His mouthpiece, speaking through him that which would be re-uttered for thousands of generations.
In this reality we see the great power of God manifested through the meekest of vessels insuring that God alone gets the glory and is worshiped for His words and actions, not the man that relayed them. This is what Paul was praising God for in our opening passage. He was thanking God for his infirmities knowing that it was only because of his weakness that God would choose to use him at all. He recognized that because of the great revelation and power that God brought forth through him that God had to also with that allow for an infirmity to show forth his mortality that he not become worshiped himself. All saw the power of God healing the sick through Paul, yet he could not heal himself proving the power was God’s and not his own, and that he was but a mortal man walking out the will of an immortal God. All the more it proved the power of God when others saw his resolve and faithfulness to continually labor to walk out his faith even in the face of pain, rejection, opposition, heartache, and infirmity, all for the love of God and the sake of others, and rejoiced at the opportunity to do so that God might be more greatly glorified. Let us be thus minded, and endeavor to do the same.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” – Philippians 2:5
“For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:6-10