2 Corinthians 12:9

“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.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

Many of us love this verse and the promises that God’s power and grace will work through our weakness. The truth is that most of us do not like the state of being weak. Apostle Paul, who pleaded three times with God to take away the thorn from his flesh, probably did not like his physical weakness either, but he chose to be content with it, for Christ’s sake, knowing it would display God’s great power and grace. Experiencing various kinds of physical weakness myself over the years (which are nothing compared to Paul), I found myself struggling with the idea that Paul could boast about his weakness.

Below are some lessons I have learned.

Through all the battles with his weakness and severe trials, Apostle Paul had learned to be content in all circumstances, because he knew he could do all things through Him who gave him strength (Philippians 4:12-13). When I have trouble in performing daily basic tasks such as shopping and cleaning, I am tempted to feel frustrated and wish for just a little bit more strength instead of being content with what God has given me. God often reminds me of 2 Corinthians 12:9 and it does comfort me. But I often ask Him, “God, where does the strength you have promised come from? I definitely can use more to go through the day!” One answer God gives me is from Nehemiah 8:10, “Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

Indeed, there are many reasons for us to rejoice in the LORD. This joy becomes more real to me as I start to thank Him more often for my salvation. Instead of feeling depressed about the limited tasks I can do for God or others, each day I can rejoice because my name is written in heaven (Luke 10:20; Psalm 35:9). Indeed, this joy has given me much inner strength and hope to continue the journey God has planned.

Another great encouragement comes from Hebrews 11-12. When I was reading all the faithful deeds listed in the Hall of Faith, verse 11:34b caught my attention, “whose weakness was turned to strength.” Again and again, (we do not know exactly how) God turns many of His children’s weaknesses to strength throughout history and will continue to perform such miracles in our lives today. The truth is that standing before the mighty God, we are all very weak regardless of our physical conditions. Blessed are those who are aware of their weakness and draw near to the throne of grace. No wonder Apostle Paul could gladly boast about his weakness. He understood so well the teaching of Jesus, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)