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.—II Corinthians 12:9
What do you find yourself craving when you face difficulty? Do you desire a hug from a friend who “gets it?” Do you hit the fridge looking for some comfort food? Do you pick up the controller and lose yourself in a video game trying forget about everything for a while? Perhaps you find yourself venting through screams or tears just wanting someone to hear you.
In this I Corinthians 12 we see the Apostle Paul going through a difficult time. He chooses to cry out to God. He pleaded with the Lord multiple times to take away a particular ailment that has caused him pain. The response he receives is probably not what he had in mind. God said no, but I’ve got something better…
God response was, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” My grace is sufficient. According to Greek scholar A.T. Robertson, that word sufficient has the idea of riches. It’s like saying, “Paul you want mere physical comfort, but I want to give you a huge amount of my grace instead.”
We commonly think of grace as God’s favor. We need God’s favor because without we are lost in our sin and on our way to hell. That is what we deserve. Our sin condemns us. But, through grace we have access to God the Ultimate Judge. Instead of punishment we receive His riches. This is a gift from God (Eph 2:8-9). This is exactly what we need.
We are weak. The sooner we see this the better. We often times want to think of ourselves as strong and mighty. After all, look at all we have accomplished in our lives. Look at all things we can do. See how smart we are? Yet, often times this is only a show we want others to see. Inside we know the truth. We suffer. We know all too well the realities of our own inadequacies. Even if we don’t want others to know, we all hurt inside.
The good news is, you are not alone in how you feel about yourself. We all feel this way if we are honest. We may try to hide it, ignore it or mask it – but it is still reality. This verse should give us comfort. In your suffering, there is grace. There’s lots of it!
And with that grace, God says, there is power. Power is made perfect in weakness. When we deny our weakness we are cut off from God’s power and limited by our own feeble attempts to work things out. Therefore, do a 180 and turn things around. Be like Paul and boast, or brag, about your weaknesses. In recognizing your pain and limitations you see God’s endless strength all the more clearly!
It should be a comfort to know that God is present in your pain. He’s there with you.