“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
“Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size – abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.” – (The Message)
In this passage, Paul recognizes that “When we are strong in abilities or resources, we are tempted to do God’s work on our own, and that can lead to pride. When we are weak, allowing God to fill us with His power, then we are stronger than we could ever be on our own. God does not intend for us to seek to be weak, passive, or ineffective – life provides enough hindrances and setbacks without us creating them. When those obstacles come, we must depend on God. Only His power will make us effective for Him and will help us to do work that has lasting value.” – (NIV Study Bible footnotes)
Personally, I do not yet delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, nor in difficulties. As for persecution, I cannot even pretend to imagine what it must be like for those who put their lives on the line to worship and spend time in His word in places where being caught for such things, lead to imprisonment or death. In the midst of struggles, I do not delight in discomfort. However, I am in a place where I am more rapidly reacting to wreckage by reaching for and relying upon my Redeemer. His strength does supply all that I need to stand firm in Him in the midst of struggles. The delight for me does not come until I have reached the other side of the struggle, and can look back and recognize how His hand has carried me through the mess. I am so thankful that He is not finished with me yet! Each trial or time of testing is an opportunity to set aside self, and seek total dependence on Him.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You alone are our unfailing source of strength in life’s struggles. Please forgive us for trying to muscle our way through the messes, and teach our hearts to turn to trust You in all things and at all times. May we be quick to recognize how You are refining us as we learn to rely on You. Teach us to stand in Your strength and to delight in the opportunity that is being presented for Your power to be made known. May Your strength be made known in our weaknesses so that many may come to know You as the Messiah. May Your strength be shown and Your heart made known, even in the midst of our messes. Amen.