11/24/18 Weakness

READING: 2 Corinthians 10-13 

“For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:10

Paul’s story of his thorn in the flesh in 2 Corinthians 12 surely evoked tough memories for him, but he nevertheless reached this conclusion about the thorn: ”Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and in difficulties, for the sake of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:9-10). So little of this conclusion makes sense to the human mind that Paul’s writings seem odd at best.

First, he says that if he is going to boast, he will boast about his weaknesses – and thus not his strengths. Frankly, I know nobody who boasts about how weak he is; instead, we boast about our strengths, our achievements, our abilities. We tend to hide our weaknesses. Paul, on the other hand, learned through his weakness just how powerful God is. Second, Paul said that he “takes pleasure” in the difficult things he faced simply because he was a follower of Christ. That is not to say that he was some kind of spiritual masochist; instead, Paul was simply willing to suffer as Christ had suffered if that were the Father’s will – for he had learned that God’s strength would be most evident when Paul was weak. God’s grace truly was sufficient for him.

The struggle we sometimes face is this: it’s easier to teach these truths to someone else who bears a thorn than it is to trust God when the thorn is our thorn. Only through God’s grace can we come to the place to say with Paul, “I’m okay with these things because God shows me His power when these things make me weak.” If God is breaking you today, trust Him. 

ACTION STEPS:  

  • Answer this question for yourself: Are you strong or weak? When was the last time you truly recognized your weakness?
  • If you know you need to do so, ask God to make you weak – and then trust Him.

PRAYER: “Father, it scares me to pray to be weak, but I do want Your power to reside in me.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  Review and catch-up day