“So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time He said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” II Corinthians 12:9
The Apostle Paul wrote this verse amid his pain. The Bible doesn’t tell us about the nature of his illness, but we do know that it was painful, permitted by God, and for his good. We also know Paul prayed to the Lord three times that it might leave him, but God did not remove the suffering. Why? Grace!
What is Grace?
- Grace gives a blessing that we don’t deserve
- Grace is God’s favor, kindness, and blessing
- Grace is God choosing to bless us rather than curse us as our sin deserves
- Grace is God’s benevolence to the undeserving
- Grace is God giving the greatest treasure to the least deserving, which is us
God’s greatest treasure is His Son, Jesus. God wanted Paul to know that Jesus is enough!
Some might see Paul’s thorn in the flesh as something terrible, but God put it there to keep Paul humble, weak, and dependent on Him, and that’s GOOD! Paul knew that was good, too! Would you be willing to accept weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecution, and troubles if it meant experiencing the power of Christ in your life? Or choose relief from the pain and sorrow you are going through?
For almost two years, I have been going through one of the most trying seasons of my life. In my darkest hours, when I am at my weakest, I have experienced the indescribable presence and power of God in my life. The past two years have been hard, but I wouldn’t trade them for smooth sailing because I know God’s grace is sufficient. His grace is all I need. Jesus is enough!
If you are going through a tough time, remember God loves you. Tough times are meant to draw us closer to Him. Thank Him and trust that He knows what is best for you. He wants you to know that He is enough.