Last night I was reading 2 Corinthians chapter 12. What a beautiful passage! Especially in verse 7 through 10. I was inspired and uplifted by what Paul had to say concerning weaknesses and strengths, and how he put into words the kind of boasting we all need to learn. As Christians, it is important to be reminded of this particular idea... that Christ can not use what we think are our strengths. Through our weaknesses is where He is able to shine in us.
I really enjoyed these few verses in particular, because of how Paul is talking about this "thorn" in his flesh, a messenger of Satan. It torments him and he asks the Lord to take it from him. But the Lord didn't... Because He says: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore, Paul then boasts all the MORE gladly for his weaknesses so that Christ's power may rest on him. Verse 10 says: "That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecution, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." Clearly, when for Christ we boast in our weakness, that is how He can rest his power on us and use His strength through us.
What Kind of Weaknesses?
I am encouraged by this passage, because not only does it refer to weakness like that of being persecuted for your faith. But it also refers to the "thorn of Satan in our flesh." In other words, our *sinful* flesh. Yes the Lord is our strength when we are persecuted for His sake because of our beliefs. But also I am reminded that it is okay to be weak in our own humanly nature; to be tempted, to struggle with sin, and so on. This too is a trial we go through for Christ's sake every single day in our Christian walk.... Because if it weren't for Him, we probably wouldn't notice of care about the thorn in our flesh. If it weren't for the Lord in our lives, we would not even know or understand that sin was our weakness.
How Do We Boast?
No... I am not exactly saying that we should BOAST in our sins ;P BUT... I do think it's good to realize, and in a way proclaim an outward expression of the thankfulness we have that Jesus *saved* us from these sins... These thorns of fleshly desires that poke against the Holy Spirit within us. Our sin is nothing to boast of. But the weakness we have, only when given to the Lord, can be used for His glory and power to indeed give us strength. And through our fight against hardships and sin, our faith is tested and it GROWS. "For His power is made PERFECT is weakness."
THIS... my friends, is something to boast about ;) "For when I am weak, I am strong..." How amazing is that?
If you are struggling against the sin in your life, that means you are convicted of and desiring to give this weakness to the Lord. In this case, if you are genuine, our God can take these weaknesses and build a stronghold of power in you to make you strong. You will then boast is this strength... the strength of the LORD ALMIGHTY our HEAVENLY KING.