Over the past few weeks, I have struggled with a certain feeling of weakness. This feeling of weakness on my part, was my own inability to “fix” those problems or concerns that are a part of daily life. It seemed that the more I tried to address these problems, that a completely new set of issues arose, and I found myself struggling with things that I had absolutely no control over.
The Apostle Paul gives us a reminder of a person who often suffered and endured many hardships for his faithful preaching of the Gospel. Paul, in 2 Corinthians, tells us that in order to keep him from becoming conceited that he was given a thorn in his flesh that served to torment him. Paul pleaded with God to remove this “thorn” but was told by the Risen Christ, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
I’m certain that it would have been easy for a man like Paul to become conceited or to feel that he was superior to any other human being because he had been given a glimpse of heaven, of paradise. During the time that he had this vision of heaven, he heard “inexpressible things,” things that he was not permitted to tell. Paul at first pleaded with God to take away from him this thorn that was nagging at him and possibly preventing him from fully carrying out his ministry.But Paul came to realize that it was through his many weaknesses that the power of Christ was made perfect. As Paul writes, “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 12:10).
I know many people who are facing difficulties and hardships each and every day. There are those who are struggling with health issues that seem to overwhelm them. I know people who are unhappy with their jobs and there are many who would simply be thankful to even have a job. Many of us are dealing with family issues and problems that seem to almost drain us of every ounce of energy from our bodies. And there are a lot of people who wonder if God seems to notice or even cares about the many difficulties that they are facing in their lives.
Paul reminds us that God does care and that many times He is working in the background of our lives, before we even notice it. Paul encourages us as believers, to take our concerns and our worries to God in prayer, to turn those concerns over to God and to worry no more. As humans, we cannot even being to comprehend God’s love and His care for those who belong to Him. Paul is expressing this thought in his letter to the Ephesians: “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God”(Ephesians 3:17-19)
As followers of Christ we must acknowledge that we are weak human beings. However, by placing our faith and trust in Christ we are learning to develop more trust and faith. We then come to realize that no matter what our circumstances are that we must be content and have faith that God is there with us in the midst of our troubles. It is in our weaknesses and failings that the power of Christ is made perfect.
Paul reminds us that “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).