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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
How many people delight in their weaknesses or troubles? I suspect there are not many. And we might question the sanity of those who do. And yet that is what Paul is expressing here. If we read just the sentence where he expresses delight in his troubles, we might really wonder about his mental state. Until you read the rest of the passage and understand where he is coming from.
Paul was suffering from some kind of thorn in the flesh, a physical ailment of some type. And he had repeatedly prayed for God to remove it. At least until God made it clear to Paul that his power is most clearly revealed and expressed in human weakness. And that is true, not just for Paul, but for me as well. When I have the power to act, I will usually do so, in my own strength. But when I am incapable of acting, and have learned to depend on God, then he is most free to work. And his power, working through me, is much more effective that anything I can accomplish on my own.
When I am weak, when I am unable to trust in my own strengths or abilities, that is when I can be the strongest. If I will trust in God’s grace and power, then my weakness will be turned into strength. Learn to delight in weakness and see it as an opportunity for God to work through you. Strength in weakness: my weakness; God’s strength; an unbeatable combination.