Take a few minutes to read the Bible verses listed and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you in how this verse applies to you this week.
But [the Lord] replied, “My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.” So if Christ keeps giving me his power, I will gladly brag about how weak I am. Yes, I am glad to be weak or insulted or mistreated or to have troubles and sufferings, if it is for Christ. Because when I am weak, I am strong. (CEV)
Is there something you’re so proud of that you love to tell people about it? In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul didn’t boast about some great thing he did, but about his weakness. Some translations of the Bible refer to Paul’s problem as “a thorn in [his] flesh.” To have a thorn stuck in your skin means to have a source of constant irritation, pain, or stress.
No one knows what was really bothering Paul, but whatever it was, Paul begged God three times to take it away. But God didn’t answer Paul’s prayer the way he’d hoped. Instead, God told Paul that his grace was enough. It was all Paul needed. What did Paul do? He responded by calling this constant, nagging problem a gift. A gift!
Can this be true? Can our struggles actually be good?
Paul wasn’t the only servant of God who faced difficulty. When God appeared to Moses in the burning bush and called him to lead the Israelites, Moses asked, “Why me?” Moses wasn’t a good public speaker, and he didn’t think of himself as a leader. But God reminded Moses that he would provide all that Moses needed. And he did! God used Moses to lead the Israelites to freedom. Where Moses was weak, God was stronger.
Paul’s prayer didn’t change his circumstances. The “thorn” did not just go away. What his prayer did change was Paul’s attitude. God can and will sometimes remove our difficult circumstances. But whether he does or not, he promises that his grace is always enough to help us go through them.
God’s promise to Paul is a promise for you, too. His grace is enough for each one of us. When we are weak, he is strong. Now that’s something to boast about!