07 Sep “For All” – Day Nine
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:7b-10 NLT – “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.”
Observation: In life there will more than likely be times of hardship, but those are the times when we bring our weaknesses to God. We can lean on his grace during those hardships and the power of God can work through us, even in our weakness.
Application: Until very recently, there had been many times when I felt like my life revolved around a particular thorn in my flesh. My husband, who is Canadian, was working on getting his Visa. As we went through this process, we spent the first two and a half years of our marriage apart, living in two different countries for long periods of time, only spending time together sporadically. Meanwhile, it seemed like our Visa process was getting nowhere, mainly because it wasn’t. During this time I felt as weak emotionally as I had ever felt because my main support system, my husband, wasn’t able to be with me. The prolonged process, along with all of the unknowns, were starting to wear me down.
I’m sure most of us can think of a moment in our lives where this has been the case. We have all felt weak, worn down, and tired at times. Sometimes, we are begging God to remove that thorn from our side, to make the pain go away because we can’t deal with it! Maybe it’s in a relationship, something or someone at work, a diagnosis you or a loved one has received?
Despite how weak and worn down I felt, I also felt God’s graciousness and that he was giving me every bit of strength I had in this time of my life. How did I know the strength I felt was from God? Well, because I knew I didn’t have the capacity to muster up any amount of strength on my own.
The best thing about our weaknesses, I have found, is they tend to be when we see God work the most. It’s in those weak times that we are humbled, knowing that we couldn’t have done it on our own. Nothing is too big for God to work through, and nothing is too hard for God to work with. Paul makes this point in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. He is telling us, “I know that God has the power to change any circumstance in an instant.” However, if God did that every time we asked him, we might begin to think we’re awesome, like no hardship could touch us. As a result, we might be inclined to leave God out of the equation and give ourselves all the credit. It’s in those hard seasons where we can see God work the most. It’s in those hard seasons when we learn to lean on him and trust him.
I begged God daily for everything to just be done with our Visa process. All of the time apart was killing me! But at the end of it, my husband finally got his Visa and we also had our first baby! I believe that it is because of God’s timing and grace in our lives during that season of weakness that we are living in his blessings and abundance now.
Whatever that thorn is for you, remember God’s words to Paul: “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness”. Instead of continuing to be discouraged by our weaknesses and the things that are really difficult, think of them as opportunities to let God show up big in your life. Our weaknesses create space for us to see how powerful God is. Because if we’re honest, there are times in our lives, especially when we are at our weakest, when nothing but God’s power and strength can get us through.
Prayer: God, I thank you for the hardships I go through in life because your power works best in my weakness. I ask that you will use my hard seasons as opportunities for your grace to be magnified in my life. Let your power in my weakness show others your goodness.
Cassie is a new mom to a beautiful baby boy who she adores! Before her son was born she served as part of our Journey Kids team at our Hockessin location. When she has a free moment you can find her caring for all of her houseplants or drinking an iced coffee.
- Read 2 Corinthians 11:16-30 to get a better glimpse of Paul’s life and some of the troubles and hardships he went through before writing this to the church at Corinth. I am not sure that if I had gone through all of those really hard things that I would then continue to boast about my weakness in the following chapter! Paul truly saw how God’s power worked in his weakness time and time again.
- Are the hardships in your life holding you back in your relationship with God because you are upset or angry that he hasn’t taken them away? Or are they propelling your relationship with God forward and deeper because you can see his power at work?