Delighting in Difficulties

2 Corinthians 12:10

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A man was walking through a park and he came upon a chrysalis. And he could see that a butterfly was beginning to emerge from that chrysalis. He was just enthralled with this process and was watching it for what seemed like hours. The butterfly was struggling and failing to get out. So the man thought I’ll help it. I’ll open up the chrysalis and let the butterfly out. When he did so he noticed that the butterfly was full of fluid and that its its wings were not formed properly. So he watched it as it sat there on the leaf waiting for the wings to fill out. They never did.

What the man didn’t realize was that the struggle to get out of the chrysalis actually pushes the fluid into the wings of the butterfly. By trying to make it easy, he had ruined the butterfly.

Sometimes God puts us through difficult things to make us into who he wants us to be. And without going through those struggles, we failed to reach our potential. Has God sent some struggles your way that seemed difficult at the time? And maybe you’ve wanted the easy way out. Here’s what Paul had to say about his struggles in 2 Corinthians chapter twelve he says

That is why I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties, for the sake of Christ. For whenever I am weak, then am I strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)

Paul learned through personal experience that God uses the hardships of life to shape him. They weren’t God cursing him, they weren’t God working out evil against him, they weren’t even God angry at Paul. God was using them to make him into that beautiful butterfly that God wanted him to be. And so Paul rejoiced in those things then because that was God working for his good.

God wants to work for your good too. When trials come don’t think that God’s angry with you. When difficulties arise don’t think that God is punishing you. He loves you. And he proved it to you by giving his Son to die for you. Jesus took on that extreme struggle of the cross so that he could be what God wanted him to be. He persevered through that cross and earned your salvation. And just like that butterfly from the chrysalis on Easter morning he rose from the dead and his resurrection declares to you that God loves you. And will be with you throughout your life. So when hardships come trust in the Lord. Rejoice in them because when you are weak, then you are strong. Amen.