Wednesday 13 November, 2013

2 Corinthians 12:1-10

12 I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 3 And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4 was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. 5 I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. 6 Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, 7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 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.

Paul achieved so much through his life but we can see from this passage that he only did it with God’s help. He knew he needed God’s help and he asked for it. He knew there were things about himself that meant he couldn’t do what he wanted to do by himself – the way he would normally approach things.

That happens with us too. We want to do things but there is a fear in us or an attitude in us or a lack of confidence that means we hold back in what we say or don’t take opportunities when they come to us. We forget to ask God into the situation. We need to go with God and learn what He has for us in our weaknesses. He doesn’t just magic them away, we need to learn and to grow in character in how we work with these weaknesses or even overcome them. We can only do this when we step into things holding God’s hand. His grace is sufficient. He can help us to do what we see as impossible.

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Lord please helps us to learn from Paul – to accept that You have made us – weaknesses and all – and You are there to help us every step of the way and You are just waiting for us to ask for help.

Written by Therese Manning

1 (reply)
  1. David Newton says:

    I once attended a conference to hear David Yungi Cho speak. He is the Senior Pastor of the world’s largest congregation and a great man of God. He spoke for three hours and yet never once spoke about his great achievements. He spoke about his failures and his personal weaknesses and the talk was electrifying because it was relateable.

    Regarding your second paragraph, I cannot count the number of times I have missed opportunities because of fear or lack of confidence. There is probably a number of reasons but ultimately, as you have said, ‘We forget to include God into the situation’.

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