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Your first reactions are seldom the right reactions

Experiencing the Power of God
God’s Power is Not a Feeling – Part VI

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10

Key Verse: 2 Corinthians 12:10 NLT
That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

In yesterday’s devotional I called attention to Hebrews 10:35-39 because it addresses that fact the God’s power is not a feeling.

It is interesting what Hebrews 10:35-39 tells us when we face tough problems: “patient endurance is what you need now”. Why doesn’t it simply say: what you need now is endurance?

The writer understood that with most problems, we do not choose whether we are going to endure them; our only choice is “how” we endure our problems.

Those without Christ often endure problems with anger and frustration. We also see that at times unbelievers become depressed over their problems. Another way an unbeliever deals with tough issues in their lives is with stress and anxiety.

Now I must ask the brutal question: is that the way you deal with problems?

Most of us, as believers, initially have similar reactions to problems. One or all the above emotions can be our first reaction. However, as believers we have the power to deny these emotions as something persistent in our lives.

I have preached for years that our first reactions are seldom the best reactions for us believers. The Holy Spirit helps us to see how God wants us to handle the tough issues of our lives. Read what Jesus promised us:

“But when the Father sends the Advocate as My representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” (John 14:26)

The Apostle James tells us:

You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. (James 1:19b NLT)

Let’s recap the formula that God’s Word gives us to deal with tough issues. Recognize your first emotions of fear, anger, stress, or anxiety. Slow your reaction to these emotions. Allow the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and power to handle your problems using God’s power in you.

The more you practice not trusting your first reactions, the easier it becomes to make God’s ways be your ways.

All this leads to the successful practice of patient endurance as we walk through problems. Patient endurance is not something unbelievers understand, but God wants His believers to make this a practice.

Look at the definition of “patient” from Oxford Languages: “able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious”. This definition fits very closely to the Biblical definition of patient endurance.

Father, help me to remember that You have the perfect solution to every problem that comes my way. May I face them with patient endurance. In Jesus’s Name, amen.