From: Rich Carlson
Date: April 21, 2020
Subject: It's April 21; Good Morning Union

Today is brought to you by the letter M

My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in your weakness.”        2 Corinthians 12: 9

When I look at this verse (and the one following it) I visualize a sort of conversation between God and Paul. The first verse is a statement by God to Paul explaining why He was allowing some challenge to come into his life, which was called, “a thorn in his flesh,” and a “messenger of Satan.” I don’t know what that “thorn” was; some believe it was poor eye sight, but it really doesn’t matter. SOMETHING caused Paul great discomfort in an apparently ongoing way.

Paul had been given great light about God and was given a great assignment of giving His gospel to the Gentiles. He had also been given amazing abilities with which to accomplish the goal set before him. He then there was this “thorn.” Paul himself describes two lessons he was learning from his “thorn”:

  1. It would “keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassing great revelations” given to me  (12:7)
  2. And, “when I am weak, then I am strong.”  (12:10)

It was sort of like the following conversation between God and Paul:

God:     I’m going to bless you beyond your imagination SO THAT you can bless my Gentile children.

Paul:    Oh wow! Thank you God

God:     And I’m going to make sure you don’t get personally distracted with your “power” (in comes the thorn)

Paul:    OUCH, that hurts! Now what am I going to do?

God:     “You’re going to trust Me and not yourself because, My grace is sufficient for you for My power is made perfect in your weakness.”

Paul:    “You mean when I am weak then I am strong?”

God:     “Exactly!”

And here s the best part of the story and the best lesson for me today:

Paul:    “Then I will BOAST all the more gladly in my weakness (my thorn) SO THAT Christ’s power can rest on me” AND God will get the credit for any good thing, not me

Who gets the credit for God’s blessings AND the challenges He allows in my life? God doesn’t need the credit; He just knows that I probably can’t handle the “credit” either without getting proud or distracted. So when my life is committed to Him and tough things come can I like Paul, and James, say, “I count it all joy when I meet various trials, for I know that the testing of my faith produces faithfulness. And I will let that have its full affect on me so I can be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (James 1:2). It’s an amazing blessing to discover that “Adversity is not a detour. It is part of the path.”

Have a great day reflecting on the “blessings” in what might be called the “curses”,

Pastor Rich

My “M” hymn for today:

“My Faith Looks up to Thee”

Quote for the day:      “The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage not to be disappointed with what we encounter.”
Paulo Coelho,

PS        “Daily Bread” blog at noon with Caleb and friends on CM Instagram and then archived on CMyoutube. Check in for 15 minutes of Bible sharing and prayer.

PPS      Text your prayer requests to 256 257 0149

PPPS    It Is Written online evangelistic series continues tonight at 6pm Lincoln time and continues every Friday, Saturday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings until May 16. Join this Worldwide series addressing the current challenges facing the world today. Check it out at

Tuesday, April 21 – 6pm

Heroes in a Time of Crisis