9 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. II Corinthians 12:9 NKJV
Paul’s circumstance is unclear, other than that he had what he called “a thorn in the flesh”.
7 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.
II Corinthians 12:7 NKJV
He clearly attributes this problem as being from Satan and used to buffet him, but he adds in that it was used for his benefit.
Understandably, he prays.
8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
II Corinthians 12:8 NKJV
After pleading three times, the Lord’s answer:
…“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9a
God didn’t remove the thorn, at least Paul doesn’t tell us it went away.
Rather, God showed Paul (and us) that He can and will use anything in our lives.
Because we are weak, broken, sinful creatures who desperately need God to heal us, restore us, and redeem us.
No two life stories are identical, but God’s grace, truth, goodness, love, strength, and salvage are able to redeem, restore, and renew any.
No matter the weakness one is experiencing, we do not have to bear it alone, nor does God want us to.
He wants us to lean on Him and trust Him throughout.
When we do, our lives are transformed.
We can go from pleading with God to remove the “thorn” to praising Him for how He has used it.
10 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.
II Corinthians 12:10 NKJV
It is not easy, but it is good.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the example of Paul, who was honest about his “thorn in the flesh” and how You spoke so clearly and have given us this wonderful encouragement. Lord, we rarely can see how You are working through the pain in the midst of it, but I thank You that You are. I thank You for how You have used the difficult and painful circumstances of my life. Thank You that You give us so much to lean on. Thank You for Your grace and Your strength which is perfected in our weakness. Thank You for Your faithfulness and love. Lord, thank You that You understand suffering far better than we do. I love You, Jesus. Amen.