Power perfected in our weakness
S -2 Cor 12:7-10 (NASB
Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself!8 Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults , with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
O - Paul shares how God has given to him a thorn in the flesh to keep him from exalting himself. I can only speculate, but I suspect as he described he was brought up to the third heaven he saw things unimaginable on earth but was not permitted to share of them or boast of them. Perhaps he was even able to see future revelations of the victory of Christ in all humanity (much like John's own revelation). The thorn really was the tormenting by Satan of Paul to use this knowledge for personal safety, gain, or exultation. Whether this was exactly it is irrelevant, what is relevant is that God taught us (via Paul) that His grace is sufficient to overcome these thorns, and that power is perfected in weakness. He reflects that it is in these weakness that that he can show his true strength in Christ.
A - The application for me is relevant to the past and to today. That I do not enjoy my thorns and weaknesses, and like Paul have prayed to have them removed from me. But it is through these thorn seasons that God's strength in me is being developed and hopefully being displayed. I must remember God's grace is always sufficient to help me endure the thorns, and reflect his power and light. So I must continue to humble myself and boast of my weaknesses, and insufficiency to do things without the power of Christ in me.
P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's message, may it be sealed to my heart. I thank you Lord for all the men and women of God, including Paul, who you have put in my life to help me to know you and your ways. I pray Lord that you continue to strengthen me through trying times to reflect Christ in all that I do. I pray Lord that you help me to especially do that with my wife, who you love. I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.