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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Your Weakness, God's Opportunity

The Apostle Paul was blessed by an acute understanding of what God was doing in his life. His perspective was helped by his vision of the Lord, knowing Who God is. He experienced a very real vision of God and heard words that couldn’t be uttered. (2 Corinthians 12:1-4) He concluded that he would glory in the Lord (verse 5) and not in himself.

Then Paul goes on to say he would glory in his infirmities. What a strange thing to say! I mean, who in his right mind is excited about his weaknesses?

The Apostle Paul explains by telling his own story: He has a “thorn in the flesh.” It is a physical problem that really bothers him. He prayed about it. He asked God three times to take it from him. Each time, God answered his prayer. And, each time, the answer was “no.” God is gracious and gives Paul the reason why not: And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness (verse 9a). This answer totally changes Paul’s attitude! He moves from wanting to do away with his physical problem to the amazing attitude of not only acceptance but also knowing that God will be better glorified if he is weak. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong (verses 9b-10). He realized that God’s power shines best through weak people, people who are empowered by God.

I remember times when I had some “Apostle Paul moments.” On several occasions—more than would be coincidental—when I was to speak to a group of children or ladies, I got very sick on that day. Once, I had one of the most painful headaches of my life. Other times, the sickness was something else entirely, but with the same impotent effect. I knew there was no way I could do what had to be done in my own strength. I knew there was only One Person Who could carry me through. I prayed similar prayers to this one, “Lord, You know how awful I feel. You made my body, and You can help me or not, as You will. I want You to be glorified. Please give me the strength to speak to these people today.” On each occasion, I could actually watch God do something special. I could see His hand, and afterwards, I could give Him all the glory, since I knew without a doubt, any strength was His.

Do you have a “thorn in the flesh?” Some physical pain, weakness, or disability that constantly bothers you? Do you have some impairment you live with daily?

You’re not alone!

God has allowed this in your life so that you can glorify Him, depend on Him, share Christ with others. If you’ve been asking God to take it away and He hasn’t, maybe you need a Pauline change of attitude. See your weakness as God’s opportunity.

. . . for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Have you ever had a time (or times) when you knew that the Lord was your strength? Would you like to share? Leave a comment, please.


  1. Si que he tenido alguno de esos momentos unos cuantos, pero uno de los mas evidentes, fue cuando sufrí un accidente cuando iba trabajar. En ese momento yo pensaba regresar al camino correcto y en la tarde de ese día volver a retomar el contacto con mi iglesia. Pero tuve el accidente y no fue así. Desde el momento del golpe hasta que llego el momento de operarme en mi cabeza solo había una oración, "Señor se que tenía que haber vuelto antes o mejor aún, no haberme marchado nunca de tu camino, si todo sale bien en cuanto pueda caminar con las muletas volveré a la iglesia y no faltaré a no ser que sea inevitable, te pido perdón por todo lo pasado y ayuda para pasar este mal trago en el nombre de tu muy amado hijo Jesucristo, Amen". Y eso es lo que he hecho y tengo pensado seguir haciendo. Lo pasé realmente mal durante dos años entre rehabilitación y los dolores, y con ayuda del Señor en momentos en que creía que no podría ni levantarme de la cama, después de orar siempre mejoraba lo suficiente para ese día.
    Para mí ese tiempo fue muy duro, pero me ayudo a comprender que Dios está hay en todo momento.Y que podía servirle aun si quedaba coja.
    Ahora estoy bien, prácticamente no cojeo, estudio todo lo que llega a mis manos y le sirvo en todo lo que puedo.

    1. Sí, que el Señor usa muchas cosas en nuestras vidas para hacernos mirar para arriba. Me alegro mucho que lo hayas hecho y que sigas haciéndolo. (Yes, the Lord uses many things in our lives to help us look up. I am glad you have done that and are continuing to do so.)

  2. It is so refreshing to read this about suffering. Thank you for sharing this biblical perspective.

    1. It's so cool how the Bible puts every issue into perspective! Thank you for your comment, and God bless you, Lauren.


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