Thursday, November 12, 2009
2 Corinthians 12:1-10
1I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 3And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell. 5I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. 6Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say.
7To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But 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. 10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Grace is a funny thing. Though we live in a world that relishes "what you have done lately", grace operates more in a "what can you not do" kind of mode. It seems to fail most when we are self-sufficient, but gloriously is able to expose our weaknesses and make perfect the power of God. Unlike other gods, our God uses the weak to display perfection and strength.
What strengths do you have that might keep grace from being sufficient? What weaknesses do you have that might be made perfect?
O Lord, I am not used to my weaknesses allowing me to grow closer to you. Sometimes I feel it is what "I" accomplish that makes everything right and forget that your grace is what I need. May your power be made perfect in my weakness. Amen.