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
History and Context:
Corinth was a city on the main trade route between Asia and western Europe, and Paul had spent two years there establishing the church. Paul wrote the first letter to the Corinthians in order to address division and immorality in the church. After that letter he had an opportunity to visit the church. Apparently the visit was a difficult one for both Paul and the members of the church and afterwards Paul talks about writing a letter in "much anguish" (ch 2). Though this letter is only the second letter to the Corinthians which we have, it seems that Paul wrote at least four seperate letters and that this is the fourth. This is his follow up after the difficult visit and the letter of 'tears'.
This is the passage in which Paul talks about the "thorn in his side". Theologians have discussed for years what that thorn might be but when it comes down to it, Paul never tells us what it is. All we know is that he has a weakness of some sort, he's asked God multiple times to get rid of, and God didn't get rid of it telling him that it is through that weakness that God's power is made perfect. Paul says that for this reason he will boast in his weaknesses, because this is where God came through the most. Not only that, but Paul says he is happy and content when hardships arise. It is when hardships are present and when he feels weak, that he is truly strong.
Allow God to come through in your weakness. Too often we allow our weaknesses o keep us from doing what God has called us to do. God wants to come through and show strength in our area of weakness, but if we never step out in that weakness and put ourselves in a place in which we need Him to come through, than we will never see Him come through. So the challenge is to forget about your weakness and do what God is telling you to do anyway. Then watch and see God perform a miracle and come through strong in your weakness.
Lord, I give you my weakness and ask that you would come through in it. Lead me into your complete will for my life and work in my weaknesses. In Jesus' name, Amen!