Pastor Thomas Smith   -  

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”┬áII Corinthians 12:9

The apostle Paul experienced things with God that perhaps no other mortal would ever know. His salvation came from a direct encounter with the risen Christ. He was the instrument God used to give us much of the New Testament. His missionary accomplishments could only be attributed to the hand of God that was resting upon him. He testified of being taken up to Heaven and seeing things that he was not able to share. To protect Paul from being prideful, God allowed him to have a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan that buffeted him. Whatever this thorn in the flesh was, it was so severe that Paul prayed three times for God to take it from him.

Our text is God’s reply to His servant. God’s grace would be sufficient for Paul. What a great promise this was for the apostle and what a comforting assurance it is for us. None of us know what the future holds. Sometimes there are disappointments, diseases, distresses, difficulties, or discouragements. Whatever we will have to walk through or endure, there is something we can be confident about – God’s grace for us will always be sufficient. He does not promise a problem-free journey, but He does provide us with an adequate supply of grace.

The next part of God’s answer for Paul was, “my strength is made perfect in weakness.” The weakness that Paul’s thorn in the flesh produced was the opportunity for God’s strength to be manifested. It is normal for us to think of our weakness as a liability or handicap. Instead, our weaknesses can be assets if through those weaknesses, God’s strength can be realized. In fact, it is dependence on our strength that makes us weak. Our human and fleshly strength will never be adequate.

There will always be endeavors or situations that require more than we can supply. It is in our times of weakness that we experience God’s grace and strength. With these promises in tow, Paul announced, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Realizing that our difficulties are opportunities for God’s power to rest upon us, we can make friends of the things that weaken us.