2 Corinthians 11:29-30 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? 30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.
If you were to read the verses prior to these, Paul lists a series of horrific experiences he encountered within his own ministry. He was beaten, ship wrecked, robbed, slandered, hungry, thirsty, and on top of all that carried on his shoulders the burden of the church. After all that, he says: “If I must glory then I will glory in my infirmities.” The one thing that jumps out to me is the statement “I burn not”. Through some cross referencing I have learned that this phrase literally means that he was not angry, bitter, or mad. The perspective of Paul was that all these things happened in order to be a better minister to others in pain. The pain of Paul’s tribulation gave him the ability to hurt with others rather than hurt for others. Paul is reminding us that tribulation is the avenue by which we are able to comfort others.
I still cannot get over the fact that Paul was not angry. There is no doubt that this is a choice that he made within himself. I also cannot help but believe such a statement can only come through being full of the Holy Spirit. We are reminded this morning that anger is not the correct response for tribulation. A series of horrific experiences, and Paul said, “I am not mad about it”.
Well, this morning I have been weighed, measured and found wanting. My tribulation has been met with frustration, bitterness, and anger. The cool thing about this is that I still have a chance to correct my attitude. Over the past several months the attacks on our ministry and our personal life has been vast. It has caused me to be short fused, stressed out, and mad at the world. However, I made a personal choice a few months ago that changed the game. I made a choice to not be mad anymore. I have since learned to welcome it. I still sense the urge to become frustrated. I sense the urge to lose patience. The flesh is still there. I am just thankful the Spirit of God says, Don’t be mad.”
Can you honestly say, “It’s been a tough road, but I am not mad about it”?