…on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses…But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:5b, 9-10
Regardless of the season of life, there is a relatable character in the Bible. Knowing the God we know, we can be thankful for this fringe benefit of the great love letter to our broken hearts.
Right now Paul is my guy. Allow me to clarify by saying that it is not the heavenly bent to his thinking that causes me to consider myself his “soul sister.”
Paul had it rough, man.
He rubbed people the wrong way. He was blunt and long-winded. He called them out on their mistakes. At many points in his ministry, Paul was alone. He ran after God so hard that others couldn’t keep up. He was persecuted, imprisoned, mocked, shunned, and woefully mistreated.
But what I relate to most is his thorn. Paul asked that his thorn be taken from him three times before accepting that God wanted it there.
Though I have asked God to do away with my thorn a lot more than three times, I can still relate to wanting the love of my life to swoop in and supernaturally make everything okay. The course of my life (the course of the lives of many) is evidence that one of Satan’s great joys is to use the combination of thorn and human sin nature against us.
Satan + thorn + human sin nature
thorns are annoying.
Friend, there is someone else in the Word who suffered from thorns, and is much better than Paul.
Our Lord and Savior.
If you really think about it, which I encourage you to do, He had thorns. Not just the crown, the nails, the spear, and the scourging.
Humanity hindered His life and His ministry. He could not ignore us. We affected His work in major ways.
But don’t doubt His love for you.
The main way in which we differ from our own thorns? We are the entire reason He became a man. If He could rely on the strength of His Father to face the cross for His thorns, what can you do for and with Him?
Is His grace truly
sufficient for you?
“I will not boast, except of my weakness…boast all the more gladly of my weakness.” It is so easy to clam up about your hardships to protect your privacy, or because you don’t want to bother people. But if we are to boast gladly of our weakness so that the power of Christ may rest upon us, should we remain so tight-lipped about what we are going through?
Whining, complaining, and otherwise showing discontent in where the Lord has you is one thing. But consider willfully boasting about how the Lord has balanced your weakness, and how He has used your thorns to bring richness and improvement.
That. Brag about that.
Brag about your weakness.
Showcase the glorious balm
of His love and power.
“Content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities”…This is tough. Being at peace with our failings, abuse from friends, a life “plot twist,” co-workers mocking your faith, or irrevocable life change is not human nature.
But by the power of Christ, it can be done.
This isn’t surface contentment where you robotically repeat “everything is fine” with no conviction. I am talking deep-seated joy that banishes discontentment. We must enjoy our weakness.
“So that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
- Brag about your weaknesses and what Christ does with them.
- Willingly share your failings with others, and how Christ compensates with His strength.
- Be at peace with yourself as God made you. Our flaws are raw material for Him to turn into something beautiful.
- Give it all up to Him. It is when our lives are darkest that He shines brightest.