“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. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
It is an odd concept to boast in our weakness. Why would anyone rejoice or admire that life has brought a season of hardship? From the outside looking in, that can seem pretty crazy. In these passages, not only do we see that Paul boasts in his weaknesses, we see him gladly doing it!
When was the last time your initial response was that of gladness when life took a turn for the worst? I am hard-pressed to find an example in my own life! Ask Katherine, when I come down with the flu, I am prone to complain. Or when someone attacks my person, I can be quick to defend rather than forgive. People naturally take the paths of least resistance. I don’t know of anyone who purposely chooses jobs, friends, or a spouse while knowing that it will one day blow up in their face. Human beings don’t like pain, failure, and sorrow! We desire that our lives be smooth sailing.
I would even say that Paul’s first instinct was to first try and avoid his hardship. In verse 8, we read, “Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.” Paul, the man who would eventually write 70% of the New Testament, had to wrestle with the fact that Jesus had him in a season where he was uncomfortable. Whether his issue was a sickness or a spiritual weakness, Paul was desperate for the Lord to fix him. He didn’t just ask Jesus, he pleaded with Him!
Why did the Lord allow Paul to struggle in his weakness? What was God’s purpose? Let us quote Paul’s words to find the answer. “So that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” That is it! Jesus revealed that His power is made perfect in Paul’s weakness. God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him! This is true even when we are in the midst of loss, pain, and hardship. The glory and awesomeness of Jesus shine in our lives when we find contentment in Him regardless of the circumstance. The world says, “when life gives you lemons (struggles), make lemonade.” The Bible tells us, “the struggles of life exist so you can learn to trust Jesus in all things.” This is where contentment is found.
“For when I am weak, then I am strong.”