DIFFERING IN GIFTS AND STRUGGLES

Posted by Nathan Warner on

“But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift” (Ephesians 4:7).

All Believers inherit spiritual gifts, and we also all suffer in this life.  This should not take us by surprise, for “the Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him” (Romans 8:16-17).  For the Believer, the struggles we go through shape us.  God is working our “clay” into a vessel for His use, “for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).  This working is part of the process of Sanctification.  As Believers being sanctified, our lives becomes increasingly shaped for God’s specific purpose.  His purpose correlates to our spiritual gifts, which differ greatly from one Believer to the next: “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly” (Romans 12:6a).

 Therefore, when we employ our gifts and when we endure struggles and suffering, it is for God’s purpose (both now and for eternity).  Our struggling and suffering can differ greatly from Believer to Believer, for God’s measure of grace in our Sanctification differs according to His purpose in our lives.  We are not all given the same gifts and our vocations differ one from another, but we know “from everyone who has been given much, much will be required” (Luke 12:48b).  Paul was given much and “because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).  This is ENDURANCE.  Now God alone knows the purpose He has for you in your life.  The gifts you receive from Him and the struggles you go through complete His work in the world through you and prepare you for the work He has for you in eternity.  None of us can know now what that is—it is in God’s mind, but just as we perform His good works now, we will also reign with Christ on the Earth: “It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him(2 Timothy 2:11-12a), for Jesus purchased “men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation...to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10). 

Our Sanctification involves our enduring the unique molding process God works in each of us for His purpose now and in eternity, as well as the application of our gifts as He would employ them in our lives.  In this way, one person’s gift may be prophecy and they struggle with pride, while another may be gifted in mercy, and they struggle with their temper.  One may never suffer loss in life, but another sees the funerals of their children.  God’s work is His own, “therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God” (1 Corinthians 4:5).  Amen.

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