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2 Corinthians 12:7-9

“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.”

We know Paul as one of the most zealous and persevering apostles. While reading through his epistles, one can easily notice the depth of his faith and the strength of his character, both of which find their roots in none other than Christ Himself. The second book of Corinthians gives us a unique lens in seeing the heart of Paul. In this book, we read of Paul suffering for the sake of Christ.

The church of Corinth was very dear to Paul. It had been a church where he had invested so much of his time and effort to impart the truths of the gospel and shepherd the people of the church. But Paul became devastated after hearing news about how the church at Corinth had started to turn against him. Some false teachers had started discrediting the identity of Paul as an apostle. They did so not just by questioning his ministry, but outrightly insulting his character. Even when Paul returned to Corinth in the hopes of straightening this out, Paul was met with accusations from the opposition and no defense from the church he loved and took care of. And so Paul wrote this letter in the midst of so much pain in his heart in the hopes that the Corinthian church would realize how far they were from the truth.

Paul writes in Chapter 12 that the Lord had allowed him to have personal revelations of God Himself. And because of the surpassing greatness of these revelations, Paul says that the Lord had given him a thorn in the flesh, in the form of these false teachers, to keep him from being conceited. Paul knew that these revelations of God could wrongly be a reason to exalt himself. And here, the apostle recognizes that this thorn given to him was meant to cause him to be humbled before God and dependent on God. Three times the apostle Paul pleaded before the Lord to take away this thorn in the flesh. Yet after pleading with the Lord three times, the Lord did not relieve and comfort Paul by removing the thorn in the flesh. Instead, the Lord relieved and comforted Paul by promising and assuring him that His grace would be sufficient for him, for His power would be made perfect in Paul’s weakness.

What a life-changing truth for our daily battles and struggles! In the midst of affliction, we can trust in the sufficiency of God’s grace. As we are confronted with overwhelming difficulty, God confronts us with overwhelming grace. No trial could ever outmatch the grace which God alone supplies. But not only is His grace sufficient, His power is also made perfect in our weakness. As the reality of our helplessness closes in, the reality of God’s power in us goes on full display. At the point of our desperate need, God proves to be the true and only source of provision. We begin to understand that the less we trust in ourselves and our capabilities, the more God shows the effectivity and immensity of His power at work in us.

Dear believer, do you find assurance in the sufficiency of God’s grace and the fullness of His power in your weakness? As you face trying circumstances in your life, know that you can rest in the grace that God supplies and the power that God perfects in your weakness. God never forsakes His children to endure their sufferings single-handedly. Rather, God assures that His presence will be with them and His strength will go with them.

May the sufficiency of God’s grace and the power God perfects in our weakness give us assurance as we persevere for the sake of Christ.

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