Dr. Tony Evans highlights the concept of embracing challenges and weaknesses for spiritual growth. Join him as he explains that just as a peanut’s shell needs to be cracked for the nut to be enjoyed or a butterfly breaks free from its cocoon to take flight, Christians often encounter trials orchestrated by God to eliminate self-sufficiency and promote dependency on Him. SUBSCRIBE: https://www.youtube.com/user/drtonyev… If you would like to download two encouraging, FREE full-length MP3s of Tony’s popular sermons: “The Sovereignty of God” and “How to Handle a Crisis,” you can do so by clicking on this link: https://share.hsforms.com/1atT9MJvXQN…

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Dr. Tony Evans is the founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, founder and president of The Urban Alternative and author of over 100 books, booklets and Bible studies. The first African American to earn a doctorate of theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, he has been named one of the 12 Most Effective Preachers in the English-Speaking World by Baylor University. Dr. Evans holds the honor of writing and publishing the first full-Bible commentary and study Bible by an African American. His radio broadcast, The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, can be heard on over 1,400 radio outlets daily and in more than 130 countries. Dr. Evans’ sermons are also streamed and downloaded over 20,000,000 times annually. 0:00 Introduction 0:31 The Benefit of Satan 12:40 100 Days of Cultivating Kindness 13:11 The Benefit of Satan, Continued 27:02 Prophecy and Our World #tonyevans #tonyevanssermon #Trials

Grace is God doing for you what you

cannot do for yourself Grace is the

goodness of God that he displays whether

or not he changes the circumstance he

says my grace my favor is sufficient for

your circumstance even if I don’t remove

the sand right now like a woman who’s

pregnant and in labor is birthing




thank you

to enjoy the fragrance

of perfume

you’ve got to break the cap

for that

fragrance that is inside

to be able to be smelt

to enjoy chewing a peanut you’ve got to

break the shell

so that the nut can emerge and you can

eat it

for a butterfly

to take flight it must break the Cocoon

so that it can rise to its created level

of intentionality

and for Christ to get all out of you and

me that he wants he has to break us

of our


the one thing that God hates more than

anything else

is self-sufficiency

where we feel

we can function independently of him

wherever there is self-sufficiency

God will bring about a breaking

a cracking

in the life of a person a believer

in order to help rid themselves of their

feeling of Independence

and one of the chief ways God strips us

of our independence and self-sufficiency

is through his use of the devil

God uses


to break a brother down

to break a sister down

God Is So sovereign

he rules so comprehensively and


that even hell is at its beckoned call

the devil Satan and demons

have to function

at his instruction

in order to put us in our place

in these verses in second Corinthians

chapter 12

Paul has just come on out of a a high

when you reach the first six verses he

talks about an experience that he had

that would blow your mind

he got to go to the third heaven

he’s the only person human being who got

to visit Heaven see what was there and

come back to talk about it

he said I saw things there that were

unlawful to others

he said I can’t I can’t even I don’t

have the words

to talk about what I saw when God let me

go visit the third heaven I don’t know


that heaven is going to offer

and I know the Bible only gives us

glimpses after coming off of this high

he says in verse 7 because of the

surpassing greatness the unique

privilege of the revelation

for this reason

to Keep Me From exalting Myself

that was giving me a thorn in the flesh

because God had let me get so high

so high that no other man has ever

gotten before

that would be the propensity and the

tendency to think more of myself than I

ought to

and so God had to put something in my

life to remind me

that yeah I I gave you a privilege but

but don’t don’t think

wrong about yourself

I wonder if anybody knows anybody who

thinks wrong about themselves

you got a little money now you got a

little job now you drive a nice car now

you’re living a nice home now people put

a title in front of your name there and

they got the wrong idea

so what God has to do is he has to bring

things into our lives

and even if that means the devil to keep

you from exalting yourself

he says

because of this unique experience

when God has bumped you up

giving you opportunities and privileges

giving you recognition and significance

he wants to make sure you don’t forget

where that came from

or when he plans to bump you up

maybe you haven’t arrived there now but

he wants you thinking right before you

get there

he allows

a thorn

he calls it

it was given to me a thorn in the flesh

now Paul does not tell us exactly what

the thorn is

there are a number of options

in Galatians chapter 4 verse 15 he talks

about the need for new eyes

he had a sight a vision problem

so it could have been a physical illness

that was a thorn in the flesh

but he also calls it a messenger of


a thorny person

in your life

that’s why he could talk

in verse 10 about insults

so it can be a circumstance a situation

it can be a person or a problem it can

be an illness but the one thing is true

about it is that it is nagging you to


it is driving you nuts

because he says it tormented me

it it created misery in my life

and then he calls it

a messenger of Satan

and he says

the messenger of Satan was given to me

he calls it a gift

has God gifted the devil to anybody in

here today

you say but what I’m going through is

nothing but the devil yeah and God gave

him to you

a messenger of Satan a representative of

hell was given to me by God

and he says there was a spiritual

purpose to this hellish Invasion on my


to Keep Me From exalting Myself

because the number one sin in the Bible

is pride

thinking more of yourself than you are


so what God did is Paul you have a

propensity to Pride

and so I need to help you

so I have given room for the devil to

prick you

stick you needle you through a problem a

pain or a circumstance so that you will

be dependent on me

to keep you from exalting yourself

the more you want to hear from God

the more humble you got to be before God

if you get so sadity

in your view of yourself

God will sick Satan on you

he will seek the devil on you to remind


that you have limitations

you got things that he can let happen to

you that your name can fix that your

money can fix that your power can fix

that your privileges can fix he will

seek the devil on you

if you’re his child to Humble you

to keep you force you

from exalting yourself

he says

concerning this this

Thorn this

needle this


that’s keeping me in prison

because that’s what a thorn does that

what don’t go away you feel like a

hostage to your problem

feel like

you know you’re behind bars

concerning this thought

I employ the Lord three times

that it might leave me

I prayed about it I talked to God about

it I wasn’t I wasn’t just just ignoring

it I made this a spiritual problem uh

and and I didn’t just ask I employed

I’m begging for relief

anybody begging for relief from

something today you begging for release

yeah in other words this thing has been

this deep this long and you’re employing

do something God

because it hurts so bad

and it goes the needle goes so deep

he said to me

in verse 9 my grace

is sufficient for you

did you read that

my grace

is sufficient for you

okay so here it is

when God gives you a thorn for your

spiritual benefit even if the thorn is

provided by the devil even if it’s a

messenger of Satan

it’s for Spiritual benefit to keep you

from exalting yourself because once you

exalt yourself now you’re the enemy of

God because now you didn’t think more of

yourself thought more of yourself than

you ought to

he says I am not going

to give you the answer to your prayer

right now

I pray Paul says that it might leave

God says my grace is sufficient

I’m not going to give you the answer to

your request but I’m not going to renew

ignore it either

my grace

is sufficient

Dr Evans will be right back after this

important announcement




thank you


Grace is God doing for you what you

cannot do for yourself

Grace is the goodness of God that he

displays to you and for you and on you

whether or not he changes the


the most potent verse on Grace is found

in second Corinthians chapter 9 and this

is a verse that you need to remember

verse 8 of second Corinthians 9 and God

is able to make all grace abound to you

so that all ways having all sufficiency

in everything you may have an abundance

for every good work

he says Grace is so sufficient

that it covers every scenario

that’s why it’s called sufficient Grace

he says my grace my favor is sufficient

for your circumstance

he said to me

let me stop there

he said to me

when did God say something to you Paul

when I prayed


a lot of times when we pray if we pray

we are looking for the answer

and when the answer does not come the

statement is God did not answer my


but God does not only answer our prayer

when he gives us what we want

he simply said I employed that God gives

me what I want which is get rid of the

devil messing with me

he says but he said

see some of the answers to our prayer

is listening to what God says not just

what he does

all Paul got was a word

not a solution

that’s why when you come to these doors

you want God to speak to you

whether or not he changes the situation

right now for you

he said he spoke I heard his voice and

you can go a long way when you hear his


even if the situation hasn’t changed if

you can just know he said it he was

talking to me in my Bible study he was

talking to me in the song he was talking

to me in the sermon I heard him say

nothing changed but I heard him

he said to me

my grace is sufficient

I have more power than enough resources

for you to handle what I’ve allowed the

devil to put you in

if you’re here today

and you’ve got a situation that has not


an illness that he has not healed you up

a job situation that he has not reversed

a financial situation that he has not

yet met

a relationship resolve that has not


and you have prayed to him

and the situation has stayed or even

gotten worse listen

open your ears and say God here I am

speak to me so what do you do when

you’ve prayed

God hasn’t answered the prayer

but you’re listening

he first of all prays

and then he praises

look at the middle of verse 9 most

gladly come on now

how you gonna be glad when you’re sad

most gladly therefore

I would rather boast about my week and

know you didn’t

I will most gladly boast about my


so that the power of Christ May dwell in


did you hear what he said

I’m gonna brag on my problem

imma brag on my pride he’s not bragging

on the pain of his problem

he’s bragging on the purpose of his


God never tells us to be masochistic and

just make ourselves miserable and make

us feel more spiritual

no when he found out that God was using

the devil to make him better

make him better a better Christian a

better person a better follower of

Christ when he found out that God had a

good purpose and a bad problem

he said oh I’m bragging about this

because I’m bragging on why God is doing

it even though I do not prefer what God

is doing

he’s going to use this situation he’s

going to use this problem he’s going to

use this difficulty and I’m going to

come out in this thing praise you God

bless your name I’m going to brag about

what the devil is doing to me now that’s

a change because I don’t know anybody

that brags about a satanic attack

I don’t know anybody that Praises God

that the devil is all over them but Paul

says I’m going to boast about my


because of what God’s going to do in it

and through it

and it says in verse 10.

he says at the end of verse 9 that the

power of Christ May dwell in me so

you’re going to get what here’s what

Grace is going to give you when he

coaches it you’re going to find you have

power you didn’t know you had

you’ve got ability you didn’t know you


what he says is if you will pray to hear

his voice and if you will praise for his

purpose you’ll discover power you didn’t

know you had

you will get Holy Ghost assistance

for your situation

he says

that the power of Christ May dwell in


see you can have the power of Christ but

it not be at home in you well if you’re

a Christian crisis in your life but he

may not feel welcomed

so the power of Christ may not be

expressed dwelling making itself at home

in you

therefore somebody say therefore

verse 10

I am well



I am well content with weaknesses in

Social stresses prosecutions

difficulties for Christ’s sake

for when I am weak then I am strong okay

he brings up contentment

the word content means

to be at rest on the inside regardless

of circumstances on the outside

it has to do with a calming internally

Paul says in Philippians chapter 4

verses 10 to 13. he says I’ve learned to

abound and a base

sometimes I’m up sometimes I’m down she

says whether I’m a beast or a bound

whether I’m up or down I have learned in

whatsoever State I am in to be content

because contentment is not tied to


you can be content when it’s sun shining

you can be content when it’s raining

because something is happening

internally at rest

the only reason he can do that is

because he’s boasting about his


he’s changed his perspective

When you pray James 1 5

If any man needs wisdom which means how

to handle this situation

let him ask of God

and God will give it to him let him ask

him faith

believing that God will either give you

the solution or give you the grace he

will give you one of the two

if he doesn’t give you the solution he

will give you the sufficiency

if you listen to his voice

he says I’m well content with my

weaknesses I’m gone

by the way how do you know that you have

grown because he said I had the Paul

said I have to learn to be content so so

this is a lesson you got to learn God’s

going to help you

I must learn to be content how do you

know when you have reached the point of

basic contentment

it is

that you are more thankful than you are


that’s how you know

how do you learn to be content you learn

to be content through your gratitude

so if you are facing a thorn that God

has not removed you need the flood of

Grace Grace cannot be earned it can only

be given God gives it but you must

access it

ask God how does he want to use what

you’re going through

this week I would love for you to read

Lamentations chapter three that’s after


because if the pages stick together

you’ll miss it

Lamentations chapter 3

the weeping prophet spends the first 18

verses describing his pain

his hurt

and even his disappointment

that God is not doing something

he’s hurting in Lamentations chapter 3

verses 1 through 18.

then in verse 19 he switches

even though I’m disappointed even though

I’m hurt even though I’m weary even

though there’s all this wrong around me

even though I’m crying even though that

he says You Are My Hope

you are my deliverer I’m banking on your

faithfulness so let me tell you let me

tell you you need to stop I need to stop

we need to stop fake prayers


talking smack

repeating the same phrases without even

putting your mind or your heart into the

discussion that that you have done

nothing you got to be honest with God

you have to be respectful but you have

to be honest God I’m hurting God I’m

disappointed you ever responded yet God

this is what I’m going through God this

is what I need God this is where I am

yes this is what’s going on in my life


I will trust in the god of my salvation


I praise you for your purpose however

I’m going to glorify you because you’re

still in charge even though things are

out of control I can tell you if God

sent Satan because you are doing and

living your life for Christ’s sake he

wants to use the devil to make you a

better Christian


and one of the ways you know as we close

you know you walk through the airport

you see people sometimes uh carrying

their luggage but but most people don’t

carry that luggage anymore because now

there are wheels on the bottom of each

of the bags okay now you can carry your

luggage but that means you got to Bear

your own weight but now that they put

wheels on there it doesn’t change how

heavy the load is in the bag but it

changes your ability to handle it

because you rolling it and you’re not

trying to carry it

if you’re here today and you’re tired of

carrying your own load if you’re here

today and you can’t handle it because

it’s too heavy I know somebody who got

some wheels and he will give you the

ability to handle the weight that you’re

having to carry by the devil that God is

using to make you the person and

Christian he has created you to be

thank you



thank you