Your Weakest Point | 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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.
In 2 Corinthians Paul tells of a trip to heaven. He speaks in third person—“I know a man in Christ who was caught up in the third heaven.” He does not write a book about his experience rather he says that he “heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell” (12:4). Then in our passage for the day he says that God gave him a thorn in the flesh in order to keep him from becoming “conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations.”
Think of it…God gave him a physical ailment to keep him from being puffed up about the trip to heaven. Many have presumed what the ailment was. Maybe a limp like Jacob. Maybe an eye disease. Maybe a mother-in-law (Sorry, that’s an old and bad joke). On three different occasions Paul prayed that God would relieve the discomfort. Each time God said, “No.” Instead, God said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Paul came to realize that the physical weakness caused him to depend upon God. And when he depended on God he received all the strength he needed. In a strange turn of events, Paul began boasting about his thorn instead of his trip.
So here is the deal—whenever you feel strong enough to handle life on your own; you are at your weakest point. And whatever takes you to your knees; there you find real spiritual muscle. Strength is found in those powerfully painful, beautifully bothersome, wonderfully weakening thorns.