The Grace to Keep Going
Verse: 2 CORINTHIANS 12:7-10
When you listen to someone speak, what gives his or her words weight? How do you decide to listen to what’s being said? Most often, we measure a person's message against his or her experience, dismissing words that don’t match the speaker’s story.
Therefore, when we come to the apostle Paul’s discussion of God’s sufficiency, we ask, “Is this something Paul can really talk about?” And we are able to read the Word and see that the answer is a resounding yes.
Paul’s personal testimony recounts some of the hardships that confronted him (2 Cor. 11:22-28). He was imprisoned, beaten, threatened, stoned, ship- wrecked, robbed, and chased throughout his entire ministry. On top of all this, he had a persistent, unrelenting “thorn” oppressing his body (12:7-8).
You’d think that God would keep His best servants in perfect condition and optimal health. Yet, here we see that although Paul prayed for relief, God’s answer was not what he expected. Rather than receiving a grand, sweeping cure, Paul was given a deeper answer: “My grace is sufficient for you” (v. 9).
Through that difficulty, God taught Paul a vital lesson: It does not matter how weak we think we are, or how oppressed or downtrodden. In God’s hands, our weakness makes room for His strength. And it is through His power—and His power alone—that we can do amazing things.
Perhaps you struggle with your own “thorn.” If so, instead of praying for a quick fix, ask God what He wants to accomplish through your weakness. Your human frailty just may be the vessel through which God can display His unlimited power to the world.
Bible in One Year: Acts 3-4
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