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December 8, 2016, 3:01 PM

Embrace the Resistance

I did not like weightlifting in high school. I was not the strongest guy in the world, especially at bench press, and the guys loved max week. This was the week where you saw how much you could lift with one lift. It was pretty fun to watch other guys blowing their heads off their shoulders for that max weight, but I wasn't that much into it myself. But I did realize something about made me better. It made me a little faster. It made my throwing arm much better, and it did make me stronger. I didn't like it the resistance of the weights is what I needed. If I had learned to embrace it more I might have been a lot stronger. 

Resistance is the key to our growth, but we don't like it. 

We want life to be easy. We don't want any pushback. We don't want anyone to disagree with us or challenge us. We don't want to face any difficulty. There's even a commercial from a nationwide office products company that invented an EASY button. Just push the button and it makes all of your tasks easy. As much as we'd like it to exist it doesn't. 

Many times we are despondent and depressed when life throws us some resistance. We can't see a point in it. We wonder why God would allow us to struggle. He has the power to take away all of our difficulties and struggles shouldn't he use that power to make our life easy. 

The apostle Paul was given this amazing vision. There are many different ideas on what the vision was, but since Paul was not one of the original apostles and didn't walk with Jesus like the 12 he might have been given special teaching. Whatever it was it was so amazing that God sent him a "thorn in the flesh" to keep him humble. This was thought to be some kind of physical ailment, possibly poor eyesight brought on by him being blinded on the road to Damascus. The specfiics of it don't really matter. Paul asked God on three different occasions to remove this from his life. It's what we would do. We would want this thorn to be removed. 

God clearly said, NO. The point of the thorn was to keep him from becoming conceited and to help Paul realize that he was still in desperate need of God and his grace. Paul had to learn to live with this ailment, because it was not going away. Paul actually kind of embraced when he wrote this, "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power might rest on me." (1 Corinthians 12:9b)

Paul did not want the resistance of this ailment, but he realized he could either get discouraged or embrace it as part of his life. Resistance comes our way in the form of physical ailments, difficult circumstances, difficult people...the list goes on and on. They may seem to be pointless sometimes, but resistance makes us stronger. Some of the things you are facing in your life may be there for a specific purpose to make you stronger and prepare you for something greater. 

Moses was leading sheep when God called him to lead the people of Israel. 

David was serving the king but it was ulimately meant for David to be the king. 

Peter, James and John were fishing, but Jesus called them to be fishers of men. 

What are you going through right now that God may be using for preparation for something greater?

Maybe if we embraced a little resistance, just put our head down and plowed ahead, God might do something greater with our lives than we ever imagined he would. 



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