“The Lord is my strength and my defense; He has become my salvation.”Psalm 118:14/NIV
In 2 Corinthians Paul tells use about having a thorn placed in his flesh by a messenger of Satan to torment him (12:7). Paul also states this affliction was given to him to prevent him from becoming conceited. Paul prayed to the Lord three times to have the thorn removed but was told: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (vs. 9). Perhaps Paul was allowed to suffer from some affliction to remind him where his strength came from. I imagine Paul became angered and frustrated with this response. Let’s explore further!
Paul was no pushover, and he could be firm and assertive with people and I anticipate a condition that could slow him down would result in his frustration. However, reading further in 2 Corinthians 10, Paul’s response is not what could be imagined – he states: “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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (10:9/NIV). Paul appears content with his situation knowing that his affliction will remain.
For most of humanity, boasting about weaknesses would not happen. People will be quick to vent about their pain and afflictions which are unpleasant. People with a self-centered focus may view themselves as the priority and a remedy should happen. Paul’s focus and priority is to continue in his earthly ministry involving the Great Commission and spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ! As Jesus was his Lord and Savior, Paul knew that he could do all things through Him (Jesus Christ) which is where his strength came from (Philippians 4:13).
I have to say this is a tough devotional to write! I have experienced physical afflictions in life that were painful and not pleasant where I had a long road to recovery. As I read this passage in 2 Corinthians this does inspire me to shift my focus from myself to the source of my strength – Jesus Christ! I am not sure that I will be able to “delight” in weakness and difficulties like Paul sought to do. However, I seek to be able to say “when I am weak, then I am strong” (vs. 10) in Jesus Christ! The Lord is my strength!
Many blessings to you!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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