“My grace is all you need.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 TEV.
God’s power increases in your life in proportion to your recognition of weakness.
My thoughts and comments today are about a “thorn in the flesh.”
While masquerading as strong, we secretly struggle with weakness. Our common humanity is not without them. People want to be seen by others as strong, even when they are not. Many of us are good at camouflage, hiding what we are unwilling to change, or do not know how to change, or simply will not admit to ourselves, others, or to God. Weaknesses are not easily recognized by others, sometimes not even by ourselves.
I live in Texas, and on a rural property where mesquite is plentiful. Mesquite has long, sharp thorns that can penetrate a truck tire. They are painful, leaving a soreness that lasts days not minutes. Paul struggled with worse pain, what he described as “a thorn in my flesh . . a messenger of Satan to buffet me.” Read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NKJV. There is much speculation but no Bible explanation about the nature of this debilitating thing with which Paul suffered. Whatever it’s nature or source, a natural occurrence had a spiritual effect. Paul saw it as a weakness, an impairment that limited his usefulness for the Kingdom of God. Paul sought God for relief, but to no avail. Heaven was silent.
Maybe you are discouraged by what you consider, or think others would consider, a hindering weakness. Lack of education? Personal inhibitions? Inexperience? Feeling inferior? Limited abilities? Fears? What prevents you from being fully available to God? Perhaps you have earnestly sought God to remove what you see as obstacles, yet God seems silent.
Paul felt that painful silence. “Three times I prayed to the Lord about this and asked Him to take it away. But His answer was: ‘My grace is all you need . .’” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 TEV. God’s grace is all you need; how wonderfully simple and sufficient! Read James 4:6-7 NLT. Let that truth resonate deep inside of you. But how can that be? Listen to God’s explanation: “. . for My power is greatest when you are weak.” You can’t escape it; only God can change it. Don’t run away from your weakness. With weakness in hand, run to Jesus, honestly and humbly. God’s power increases in your life in proportion to your recognition of weakness. The Bible tells of such people who, “Out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of [their enemies].” Hebrews 11:34 NKJV. That will describe you in Christ – strong, valiant, and victorious.
It is better to have God’s strength than your own because, “the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” Read 1 Corinthians 1:23-31 NIV. The weakness that worried Paul was no concern to God. “Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” Read 2 Corinthians 3:4-6 NIV. You might struggle to be strong, or at least appear to be; your real need is to allow the strength and sufficiency of God to operate freely through you. Paul’s advice? “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” Read Ephesians 6:10-18 NKJV.
God is focused on what He can do, not on what you cannot. “Although [Jesus] died on the cross in weakness, He now lives by the mighty power of God. We, too, are weak, but we live in Him and have God’s power. 2 Corinthians 13:4 NLT.
My prayer for you today is: learn that trusting God completely is not weakness but strength.