The apostle Paul said about his friend: “May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me …”
The young women in our Tuesday morning small group often refresh me, as does my friend Marcy, who helps me facilitate this group of wonderful friends. Today, we walked together through some of the lessons and thoughts in Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians. As he refreshed his readers with words of encouragement, it ministered to my own heart to think of his love and devotion to them individually: “We always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of His calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by His power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Paul’s joy over their resolve for good encourages me. As people of God, we have work to do for His glory. He has equipped each and every one of us for ministry and has empowered us to keep on until the end. I love the contrast and comparison that Beth Moore made regarding our gifts/ministry as we partner together in the Body of Christ. I’ve been thinking about how this looks …
There are quite a few people who are impaired or disabled for one reason or another
. Some have a hearing disability to the degree that they are totally deaf. Others are disabled and can not walk, to such a degree that they are paralyzed. Apart from a miracle, many will go through their lives with these or other disabilities.
What a blessing when we read the stories of those with disabilities who refuse defeat and choose instead to find out what they are capable of doing and do it with great gusto.
In sports, athletes are sometimes put on a disabled list due to an injury. They are temporarily unable to compete. Thankfully, they are not permanently unable or incapable. And while this disability is a temporary setback for the competitor, there are times we all find ourselves permanently unable. There are things in every person’s life that we are incapable of doing. Barring an act of God, I am incapable of beating Michael Jordan at basketball. Even at his age, he is stronger, he is taller, he is better. He always will be. I also will never be a rocket scientist or will I solve the world’s most difficult math problems. My brain doesn’t work that way.
Yes, in this life, some people will live with a disability. And in this life, all of us will live with inabilities. As believers, some are more able and qualified to teach, to give, to serve, to show mercy in ways others are not. God has given us each unique abilities and capabilities to be used in different ministries. But although we may not all have the same abilities, we can choose whether or not we will become spiritually disabled.
God has given every disciple of His all that we need to serve Him faithfully. We are equipped by His spirit to do the work He has for us to do in order that we would complete the ministry He has called us to complete. There are times we may feel disabled. We allow ourselves to sink into despair and we focus on our tiredness, our imperfections, and others’ critical voices. We also listen to the the enemy, who keeps our minds distracted from persevering and finishing well.
But the One who set His eye on the finished race and won it, has given us the victory. He offers us His strength and His power. We are not disabled. We are able. Even more than able to accomplish the task before us!
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the Great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight,
through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.