Strength in Weakness
And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-11
The life of a believer in Christ is extraordinary in that, those things which would take others down like infirmities (sickness), reproaches (disappointments), persecutions (hostility and ill-treatments) and distresses (anxiety) can lead us to rejoicing in our savior. Although Paul prayed to be released from these things, his answer to prayer was far more liberating than deliverance from pain and suffering. A door was opened to him that changed his perspective forever. My prayer is that we too will be forever changed by the word of His power — may this devotion be an answer to prayer for somebody.
Weaknesses is a state that none of us like to be in because it makes us vulnerable and subjects us to pain. Our text today offers insight to God’s purpose concerning some of the things that He allows to enter our lives. Note that Paul says “ a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.” Who gave Paul the thorn in his flesh? Why did God allow it to be so? In order for our God to use us, we must walk humbly before Him, this is required of us according to Micah 6:8. Because of the abundance of revelations received by Paul he was at risk of being exalted above measure. In other words, if left unchecked, he would have thought more of himself than he ought to, seeing that the revelations came from God, and he had no ability to produce them apart from God. What do any of us have that we have not received?
So God in His lovingkindness, tells Paul that His grace is sufficient. No matter what you might be going through, please know that the grace of God is sufficient. Also know that the gift of God that is operating in your life is because great grace is upon you. So that the things that would make ordinary people weak, become strength for you as you submit to God in humility. In doing so, your weakness is swallowed up by His strength. This is a picture of such total dependence upon Christ, that we can actually take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when we are weak, then we are strong. Because His weakness is far greater than our strength, we can rest in Him.
How sweet it is to know that His strength is made perfect in our weakness. The principle at work here is when we work God rests, when we rest God works, so learn to rest in God so that you can rejoice in the things which cause the world to lament. Our Father and our God, give us sufficient grace to rest in You, so that Your strength can be made perfect in our weakness.
When is the last time that you have boasted in infirmities? It only makes sense for us to boast in infirmities when we know that the power of Christ, the anointed One is resting upon us. Strength in weaknesses means we are never exposed to attacks by the enemy of our soul, because our God fights for us. Although the messenger of Satan came to buffet Paul, God first of all let him know why it was happening, which caused Paul to pray. Sometimes things happen in our lives to lead us to the rock that is higher than ourselves.
In the end, we too will rejoice in the knowledge that our strength is greatest when we are weak, because when we are weak, then we are strong.
Today, may you know that you have strength even in weakness!