2 Corinthians 12:7-10
One of God's reasons for sending adversity into our lives is to conquer pride. Paul experienced this kind of divine intervention through the presence of what he called "a thorn in the flesh" (2 Cor. 12:7). The Lord used pain in Paul's life to guard his effectiveness as a servant of Christ.
We don't usually realize what's at stake when we allow pride to take root in our lives. It affects how God interacts with us because He "is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6). If a Christian lets pride take root and grow, the Lord will set him on a shelf. Then the believer will never realize the potential of all that God wanted to do in and through him. In essence, he will miss his calling and become useless in the kingdom. Even if the world still sees him as a success, in the Lord's eyes, his ministry is worthless because it's self-motivated and self-empowered.
Can you see how much was at stake for Paul--and for believers throughout history? The apostle was God's chosen instrument to establish churches and write letters that would become a major portion of our New Testament. When he understood the reason for his "thorn," Paul reacted with complete trust and gratitude for the Lord's wise and loving protection.
Perhaps you can see why adversity was essential for Paul--but it's also vital for you. Each of us has been given areas of influence and opportunities to serve, but pride hinders the fulfillment of the Lord's goals for our lives. If trouble comes, humble yourself immediately so God can use you greatly.
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