2 Corinthians 12:10 – Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Naturally speaking, it is quite impossible for you to take pleasure in the type of experiences listed here. But the key to understanding this verse is found in the expression, for Christ’s sake. You should be willing to endure in His cause, and in the furtherance of His gospel, things which you would not ordinarily endure for yourself or for the sake of loved ones. It is when you are conscious of your own weakness that you most depend on the power of God. And it is when you are completely dependent on Him that His power is manifested to you, and you are truly made strong. Through his infirmities, God made Paul completely dependent on His grace and on His strength, but it was all for good. Paul’s continued dependence upon God made him stronger than he would have ever been if his revelations had made him proud and self-sufficient. Most of us think that real Christian maturity is when we come to a place where we are somewhat “independent” of God. The idea is that we have our act so together that we don’t need to rely on God so much day to day, moment to moment. This isn’t Christian maturity at all. God deliberately engineered debilitating circumstances into Paul’s life so he would be in constant, total dependence on God’s grace and God’s strength.
Can you imagine taking pleasure in your infirmities or difficulties? Without God this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible. Your challenge this week is to allow God’s strength to become the strength that overpowers your weakness in order to endure the stresses in your life. When your focus is completely on the Lord, then the things that normally bring you down will become powerless over you. We all too often focus only on the negative and difficult that is happening to us and forget to see the good that God is producing around us. Often there is a silver lining to the hardships you are facing. Work at looking for the good that will come from the current trial that is before you. Look more at the good happening in your life and place the rest in the capable hands of God and He will get you through. This will give you the opportunity to give Him the most glory. God bless you today.