Word of Encouragement – 8/9/17

To understand how God works to accomplish His will, one should have an understanding of the word “paradox.”

A paradox is a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality, expresses a truth. It is paradoxical to think about someone who is virtually devoid of human ingenuity or skills, or even hope, yet becoming a master craftsman, or world renowned educator, military leader, or corporate giant.

Beethoven, born in 1770, was deaf, yet became one of the great musical composers of all time.

Due to a diving accident during the summer after her high school graduation, which rendered her a quadriplegic, Joni Eareckson Tada thought her life was over; but because of her tragedy, she became internationally famous as a conference speaker, radio personality, artist and author.

God has the tendency to utilize the most unlikely — the most inept, the weakest, in human standards, in order to accomplish His will. That way, no one can take the glory which is due Him.

Saul of Tarsus, who was the most dreaded persecutor and killer of Christians, became the greatest missionary and church planter the world has ever known.

It was not the tall, strong warrior, Israel’s King Saul who won the decisive victory over the giant Philistine — it was a little ruddy-complexioned shepherd boy, David, who couldn’t even lift Saul’s implements of warfare but chose a sling shot and five stones to win the battle.

It is not the intellectual giant, nor an angel from heaven, whom God is interested in using today as a tool to proclaim His gospel to the world. In 1 Corinthians 1:21 (KJV) Paul says, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”

In other words, the world cannot know God through human wisdom — but it is through the preaching of the gospel, by men who appear foolish to a condemned world, which brings people to salvation.

In God’s kingdom, we live by dying: Galatians 2:20 (NLT) “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

In God’s kingdom, we win by losing: John 12:25 (NLT) “Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity.”

In God’s kingdom, we receive by giving: Luke 6:38 (NLT) “Give and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full — pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”

Only when one has a genuine relationship with Christ, can they understand that one does not live by self-nurturing; one does not receive by hoarding; nor win by exerting.

Why does God utilize the most unlikely, in terms of human standards? Because if humans performed great feats in their own strength, and by their own standards, they would get the glory. God utilizes the weak, in order that He will get the glory.

God loves paradoxes!