“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” 12:9a
God’s response to our suffering is to provide everything we need. (Obviously it rarely seems like this.)
“That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 12:10
Paul’s response here is intimidating and not very relatable. When I was first studying the Bible, I read this and felt overwhelmed and wanted to flip back into the psalms where I was allowed to lament and shake an angry fist.
But notice, Paul admits to begging God repeatedly to ease him of his relentless hardship. Eventually, he gains perspective that this is a severe mercy on his life that has led to humility and deepened his reliance on the Lord. (I think we can all agree at this point that Paul has a monumental struggle with pride as seen in Acts 9.)
Most people speculate that Paul had chronic health problems, maybe even a physical disability. The way he describes his problem as a tormenting messenger from Satan has me wondering if it’s an addiction. To what? I don’t know. If you’ve ever been around a recovered addict, you will hear them say similar things. They just want freedom, they beg God for change and they learn to live with the thorn in their side.
Whatever it is, health problems, a bad temper, an addiction, crippling laziness etc, God has what you need for your reoccurring hardship.
Something I regularly practice is to take note of God’s grace when something goes wrong. Start with the smaller things throughout your day and then this muscle will be strengthened to notice the bigger things.
His grace is enough for you and you can put that to the test.
Take time to today to notice when God’s grace shows up.