Take Pleasure in Weakness?

March 6, 2013 | Tags: ,

Cross of ChristSo I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and in pressures, because of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:10

Paul wrote this under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to say what he had experienced in times of suffering. In its context, this verse is referring to his petition that God would take away his “thorn in the flesh,” which was causing him great anxiety. The nature of the thorn itself was not disclosed in Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth. Was it a physical ailment, depression, or opposition from outsiders? We have no way of knowing. Perhaps God intended it that way, knowing the millions who would be reading this letter in the coming years of the church age. Perhaps He wanted us to be able to understand His intention in our own individual sufferings.

Jesus responded to Paul’s petition to remove the thorn. No, my precious child. I have a greater purpose in it. He said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” (v. 9). Was Paul initially disappointed and frustrated with this response from Jesus? I would image so. But later, he would come to see Jesus was right. He did have a greater purpose–to show His power, despite the frailty of human weakness.

We know Paul rejoiced and was able to see the reality in the same light as Jesus saw it. That’s why he could say, “I take pleasure in weaknesses.” He saw the amazing strength he had to endure all things because it was the strength of Jesus Himself, carrying him through. He was able to see, that no matter what came against him, Jesus was going have the victory. He was able to see that it was not going to be about Paul, it was going to be about Jesus.

Do we take pleasure in weakness? It certainly is a strange concept from a human standpoint. But in Christ, it makes perfect sense. He will do the work. He will carry us to victory according to His will. Can we trust Him? Do we truly believe He is who He says He is, and that He can do what He says He can do? That’s the key–trusting God.

What’s your weakness today? Can you trust God enough to give it over to Him and let His great name shine through your life? His grace is sufficient for you. Will you receive it?

By Courtney Silberman

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