That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
You and I live in a world that celebrates strength. Much of the headlines are about people with power and influence. Along comes the apostle Paul, who was once part of the religious elite, and he has a powerful message for all of us following Jesus:
- Please take it away God: There is some undisclosed situation in Paul’s life that he interprets as a weakness. It is something that limits or holds him back. Paul is very specific. He begged God three times to take it away, remove it from his life.
- God responds: My grace will be enough for you Paul: In fact, you will see my grace lead you through this weakness to a point of strength in your life.
- Paul sees the wisdom of it: As Paul’s life continues on, he comes to see this “thorn in the flesh” as something the Lord has used to help him respond to verbal abuse, hardships and persecutions as a result of his pronounced faith in Jesus Christ.
- Paul finds strength in weakness through God’s grace: This is the amazing reality of how God works. What others mean for harm, God uses for good. What is real weakness, God uses to demonstrate His grace and bring strength to our life through the weakness.
So, are strengths a problem for the follower of Jesus? It is interesting to note that the strengths of Paul are many, and yet, this “thorn in the flesh” is unknown to us. God is not against our strengths. In fact, the strengths, gifts and talents we have are given by God to reveal who He is and to do good in this world through the good news of Jesus Christ.
The issue is, perhaps, one of self dependence. There is nothing like a good “weakness” to keep us humble with an honest evaluation of ourselves before God.
I have come to know profound strength provided through God’s grace in the weakest areas of my life. I have watched God bring healing and wholeness to areas of life that were beyond my ability to solve in my own strength.
I am grateful for the strengths, gifts and talents the Lord has given to me. I am humbled and amazed at the beauty and strength of God’s grace that works in the things I would just rather have taken away from me.
Thank You for the message Paul recorded regarding weakness, grace and strength. Thank You for working though the weaknesses in my life, as I have experienced Your grace. So much strength has emerged from those places of brokenness.
In Jesus name, Amen