Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. II Corinthians 12:8

Champions learn to play hurt. We know that our favorite football player must play sometimes hurting.  He can’t just stop when he is hurt.  I once read a story about a man who played a half of the game with a broken arm.  That may be a bit beyond the call of duty.

“Amateurs can produce when they feel like it. Pros can produce when they don’t feel like it.” There is a local advertiser whose slogan seems to be “Life dose not have to hurt.”  I’m not sure about that. Life has its hurts.  Pain is a way of life for many this side of eternity.

Perhaps the character of a man is more evident when he has his back to the wall.  What we are really comes out when the pressure rises.  It is at this point that our faith really comes out.  If there is no testing of faith there is no certainty that we are really true believers.  James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

Paul was a man familiar with pain.  He faced it with strength and fortitude.  It was a daily battle with difficulty.  When Paul pleaded with the Father to remove the thorn in his flesh, He answered: My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

We don’t always equate power and weakness, but Paul did.  When we think of our walk with Jesus, we often can quit because of some pain in our physical of emotional make-up.  It is at this time that our faith is being tested and we need to endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ (II Timothy 2:3)