How God Uses Suffering Podcast by Pastor John McArthur for Grace to You
Open your Bible, if you will, to 2 Corinthians chapter 12, back to this most notable, most wonderful, most rich portion of Scripture that we began last Sunday. We’ve entitled this section “Power in Weakness,” 2 Corinthians 12:5 to 10. Power in weakness.
As we learned last time, life is painful. Some years ago, a Rabbi wrote a book called When Bad Things Happen to Good People, and he asked the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” A better question is why do bad things happen to everybody? Because that’s how it is in life. Fallen people in a fallen world have to deal with difficulty.
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We love helping others and believe that’s one of the reasons we are chosen as Ambassadors of the Kingdom, to serve God’s children. We look to the Greatest Commandment as our Powering force.
We talked about the fact that life is painful, and it’s painful in many ways on many fronts. But we also suggested that the greatest pain that we feel is that inflicted on us by other people. And the closer they are to us, and the more we love them, the greater their ability to inflict pain on us.
Now, we’re made for relationships by God. We’re made to enter into intimate relationships, and therefore we have a high degree of vulnerability. That is precisely where we find the apostle Paul when he wrote 2 Corinthians. He is hurt, and he is hurt profoundly, and he is hurt deeply. Deeply enough to describe himself, in chapter 7 of this epistle, as depressed.
I really believe that it was the – it was the point of Paul’s deepest personal disappointment. It was his deepest personal pain. He was being betrayed by the Corinthian church where he had spent nearly two years and which he loved so dearly. He was being betrayed by them because they had fallen under the influence of false teachers who had lied about Paul and taught a false gospel and other lies. And these Corinthians had betrayed Paul, turned from him, were beginning to embrace the false teachers, and Paul was crushed.