For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
II Corinthians 12:1-10
I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses— though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
This passage has the power to turn our attitudes around when we experience difficulties. All of ourselves, all that is us and belongs to us is under the Lord’s care and keeping. Can we remember when going through the tough times that He is made strong in our weakness? He is glorified in our trials. Our ability to move through the darkness and through the hardship comes from Him. We are changed and grow by way of it.
“…For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. …”
We too can find ourselves content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. At those times it is important to focus on Him and not on ourselves or the circumstances. The paradox rests in Christ. Blessed be the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.
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