I’ll admit it …I like John Piper. To be perfectly honest I agree with JP about a lot of things. I will not attempt to veil the fact that I regularly listen to the Ask Pastor John Podcast. Moreover, I will not deny that I found the most recent episode of the APJP to be especially thought-provoking – – – > June 28th, 2016. The comparison between Paul’s reaction to suffering in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 and Asa’s reaction to suffering in 2 Chronicles 16:12 is striking.
2 Cor. 12:7-9 – – – > So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Chron. 16:12 – – – > In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but sought help from physicians.
All kinds of questions and considerations come up…
- Are you conceited?
- Do you believe that God GIVES you suffering to keep you from becoming conceited?
- Do you believe that when you suffer you can (and should) pray to God (i.e. talk to God about how you’re feeling, what you want, what you don’t want, etc.)?
- Do you believe that you can (and should) call the elders of your church to join you in praying for unwanted thorns to be taken away? …Even if, at the same time, you believe that God has ordained the thorns to be present and painful in your life?
- Do you believe in God’s grace? …If so, what – specifically – do you believe about it? (e.g. how sufficient is it?).
- Do you ever gladly boast of your weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon you? (when & how did you do this recently?).
- Do you take severe diseases to God first & foremost? …or do you first & foremost seek help from physicians?
- Who do you trust (i.e. pray to) more – – – > physicians or God?
*[footnote] #The picture used with this blog post is taken directly from the APJP webpage.
Thx JP …I love you bro.