Wednesday, January 8, 2020
Paul tells us in II Corinthians 12:9-10, after informing us of his thorn in the flesh Satan sent in order to keep him humble, “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness!’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
IN the previous chapter, Paul describes these circumstances in his own life more explicitly, having been imprisoned multiple times, beaten numerous times – even to the point of death, endured the horrendous thirty-nine lashes, beaten with rods, stoned, and shipwrecked thrice. This is not to mention the fear of being robbed, sleeplessness, not having food, water, or shelter – being hungry, thirsty, and exposed to the cold (II Corinthians 11:23-27).
Yet in these things, even these dramatic incidents when Paul felt sheer helplessness, God’s grace was sufficient for him – His divine power (II Corinthians 10:4) is perfected in such weakness. “For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we shall live with Him because of the power of God directed towards you” (II Corinthians 13:4). The next verse tells us to test ourselves to see if we are in the faith. We are thus to examine ourselves to see if we recognize this about ourselves, that Jesus Christ is in us (II Corinthians 13:5)! Have we come to the point where we recognize that we are indeed weak in and of ourselves? This is why Christ died for you and me! Yet are we totally dependent on Christ? Do we depend totally on His weapon of Divine Power? Can we claim along with Paul, “Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong” (II Corinthians 12:10)?