December 4, 2013
Advantages and disadvantages
Things aren’t always what they seem. Have you ever had something good come out of a bad situation? If you have been blessed with many years, I am certain you have. The situation may not have been pleasant, and certainly wasn’t ideal, but the end result was such that you would dare not change a moment of the journey. The truth of the matter is that many of our most difficult moments are the most life transforming. Much of the motivation, determination, wisdom, compassion and authenticity we possess are born directly out of the most trying times in our lives.
We are observing the advantages of disadvantages and the disadvantages of advantages. This can be difficult to observe in the culture of entitlement we live in. Any disadvantage seems like another opportunity to play the victim card until your hand is full enough to proclaim that life has dealt you a bad hand. Then you can convince yourself that you have the right to be depressed and unmotivated. You rely on the excuse that you did not have the great advantages that others had.
Paul learned to view his advantages and disadvantages a lot differently. We read in 2 Corinthians 12 that Paul had a disadvantage of a thorn in the flesh given to him to keep him from becoming conceited. No one knows the exact nature of Paul’s thorn except for the fact that it was some kind of weakness, difficulty or disadvantage. Paul, like anyone of us, asked God to remove the thorn from his flesh. God said no because his grace is sufficient and revealed to Paul that his power would be made perfect and more evident in Paul’s weakness. This thorn would also keep Paul from becoming conceited and thinking the whole world revolved around him. Paul came to understand that this thorn in the flesh caused him to have the advantage of relying on the power of God (which was far greater than his own power) and the advantage of seeing others around him more compassionately. It drove him to the point in his life where he could say, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
One of my greatest disadvantages in life was losing my father in my early teenage years. That event brought hardship in my life and made me weak. I went down to a very low place in my life, filled with darkness and depression. It was in the darkness that I clearly saw the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. It was there in my greatest depression that I found a love and compassion that traveled beyond my own being. It was because of that great disadvantage that I decided to rely on God more, that I decided to remember the words that my father spoke to me before his passing while I was young and that I decided to look beyond myself to my family, friends and others. I do not wish for this disadvantage for anyone else, and I would certainly be glad to have my father back. But I now can clearly see how God used a great disadvantage in my life to bring about advantages that others who seemed to have every advantage did not have. For now I am content with my disadvantage because of Christ. “For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
So my question is how is God using your weaknesses and hardships for his glory, others good and your own joy? Do not get so caught up in your disadvantages that you miss the advantages that derive from your disadvantages. Things aren’t always what they seem.
Church Notes - Week of 12-4-2013
The PromisedLand ministering in song
The PromisedLand Quartet, featuring songs from their ‘A King is Coming to Town’ tour, will be ministering in song at Springfield Assembly of God Church, Friday, Dec. 6, at 7:30 p.m. For more info please call 304-257-3361 or 304-298-3993. www.PromisedLandQuartet.com
Community youth night Dec. 13
A community youth night, “A Walk with God,” will be held from 6-9 p.m., Friday, Dec. 13, at Hanging Rock Church of the Brethren, Augusta. The church is located on Route 50 East, above Treasure House. There will be light entertainment, a Christian skit, puppet show, crafts, door prizes and much more. Pizza, snacks and refreshments will be served. There will be gift bags for all children who attend. Come join in for an evening of Christian fellowship and fun. Free will offering. For more info contact Brenda, 304-209-0629 firstname.lastname@example.org or Tania, 304-703-8975.
A call to prayer for Hampshire County
The community is invited to gather with other Christians, pastors and intercessors to pray for revival in our county. Our churches, families and individuals are in need of a mighty move of God. This will only come by prevailing prayer, unified prayer, to be held Saturdays, Dec. 14 and 28, at Fox’s Hollow Baptist Church at 7 p.m. Traveling west of Romney 3 miles on Route 50, turn right onto Fox’s Hollow Road, bear right and go 1/ 10 mile. The church is located on the right. Every Tuesday at 6 p.m., prayer is offered up for Hampshire County at Zoar Baptist Church, 4 miles south on Ford Hill Road, Augusta. All pastors, churches are invited to join this weekly time of interceding for our county, churches, families and lost souls.
God’s Helping Hands open Saturdays
God’s Helping Hands, located at Community Fellowship Church, Points, is open the 1st and 3rd Saturdays each month from 9-noon. Good used clothing is available. Supplemental food boxes can be purchased for a small donation and proof of income. Donations of good clothing and small items are accepted. No big items without calling first. Questions or more info, call Liz at 304-492-5786.
Christ Community Church holding senior luncheon
Christ Community Church, Augusta, will hold a senior luncheon on Friday, Dec. 20, at 11:30 a.m. Come join in for a good meal and fellowship.