Thursday, April 15, 2010

Count on Jesus!

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

2 Corinthians 12:7-9

When all six of our children were still at home sometimes it was easier to count them to make sure no one had wandered off. When God created the world in which we live He included numbers. That may sound silly, but He could have created us without any awareness of numbers or the need to count anything. There are other things in the cosmos about which we are oblivious.

But God created us to count. In fact, that phrase “to count” has a double meaning. We count people and things, but in recognizing a person’s significance we say “he really counts for something.”

The United States Census is spending huge amounts of money to make people aware that they need to be counted in each census. In sports we carefully count how many players are on the field at any given moment. If there are too many it is a violation. When we take on any endeavor, if we are wise we count the cost.

So why does it specifically say that Paul prayed three times for the Lord to take away his “thorn in the flesh?”

The Bible says in Exodus 34:23: “Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign LORD, the God of Israel.”

Paul came before the Lord three times about his problem and the Lord gave him the answer. "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Would Paul have prayed more than three times if the answer had not come? Certainly, he would have, but the number of times He prayed when the answer came is significant.

It is a play on words, but maybe not. As a follower of Jesus Christ, when times get tough you can COUNT ON JESUS to be there for you. He said He would and trusting Jesus really adds up!

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