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That I Might Grow

That I Might Grow

Would you like to grow in spiritual maturity? Do you want more faith, more love, more Christlikeness and grace? Don’t be surprised by the trials and afflictions through which these things might come.

John Newton is probably best known for his hymn “Amazing Grace.” The hymn we all know by heart was just another hymn to him, as he tried to write a new hymn every week. He might be surprised to learn that Amazing Grace is the hymn most sung today. Another hymn John Newton wrote is “I Asked The Lord.”

I Asked the Lord

I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace,
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, His face.

’Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answered prayer;
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He’d answer my request;
And by His love’s constraining power,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart,
And let the angry powers of hell
Assault my soul in every part.

Yea, more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe,
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

Lord, why is this? I trembling cried,
Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?”
‘Tis in this way, the Lord replied,
“I answer prayer for grace and faith.”

These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free,
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou mayest find thy all in Me.

God employed a despair-filled trial — a “thorn in the flesh” — to set Paul the apostle free from pride.

Paul initially wanted to be rid of this thorn. He pleaded with God three times to take it away. But once Paul heard God’s reply, he had a different perspective of his thorn.

He became loud-tongued about his weaknesses and sufferings because through them Jesus Christ was strong in him.

7To 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.

8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But 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.

10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10, NIV

What is God using in your life to break your schemes of earthly joy — that you may find your ALL in Him?

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