Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sermon Notes...When Pain Persists

When Pain Persists
2nd Corinthians 12:7b-10 (New Living Translation) "So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Introduction: Pain plagues humanity in a variety of forms (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual). Two observations must be made: 1) That's life   2) Don't isolate yourself

Transition: Our text is a part of an interesting and possibly a confusing story. Paul is trying to explain (as best as his mind and mouth can) an experience either dreamed or had. He resolves that because of the experience, he received a persistent pain...

Exposition: When Pain Persists, consider the course of action that Paul took...

1...Consider the PURPOSE of the pain (verse 7)
God will allow (not cause) pain to persist in order to teach us humility. We have nothing to be proud about except being saved from our sins. Even in salvation, the we can't boast unless we're bragging on Jesus!

2...Consider PRAYING persistently about the pain (verses 8-9a)
Paul talks to the only person who can alter his condition. God responds to all three requests by simply saying that grace is all you need!

3...Consider being POSITIVE while in pain (verses 9b-10)
Your perspective matters. Don't allow persistent pain to make you pessimistic. This pain isn't your first rodeo and it won't be your last. So, fix your face and get your mind right and be confident in the fact that the great God lives within you and nothing in this world is a match for him!

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