And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. 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. – 2 Corinthians 12: 7-10
There are weaknesses I deal with that make it hard for me to keep going with Kindling Truth at times, and I know that we all go through such things in one way or another. Sometimes this world is hard, and other times our own deficiencies can make us feel weak in the faith or like withdrawing from God.
I’ve felt heavy-hearted today because of weaknesses that I often fear will keep me from serving God like I should. Though in my mind I know better. I know that God is in control and the Lord will give all of us what we need in order to glorify Him. Even so, my heart does not always know that as it should.
When we see our sins and start to feel like this, what is the remedy? If we are already feeling like we are not good enough, strong enough, knowledgeable enough, or patient enough, or whatever the case might be, then how do we find what we need to keep going?
For one, I think it can be good to appreciate our weaknesses. These things humble us before God, and it is when we are most humble that He strengthens us and brings us into the kingdom more fully. It is when we appreciate our dependence on Him for all things and hunger and thirst for Him that we are filled and freed from more of our sins.
Is glorying in our weakness an excuse to continue in sin? I don’t think so. It just means that when we consider our state and don’t hold ourselves higher then we should or cause others to do the same, as Paul wrote about in 2 Corininthians 12, God hears us. We should also retain a mindset that it is God who we want to bring glory, and what better way is His glory shown then through His mercy in freeing us from sin and transforming us lowly creatures into something more like Him?
What about Paul’s infirmities to which God said, “my grace is sufficient?” Some say that Paul (who was the chiefest of sinners) continued in sin. I don’t think that is true. He did say that he didn’t come to people as “one who had attained” but there is reason for that.
There are things I struggle with that might not always cause me to sin. Would I like these things gone? Absolutely, and maybe someday they will be but I don’t know because I can see how these “infirmities” can make Christ strong through my weakness. I expect the same was true for Paul, and as far as him saying that he did not come as one who attained, there is wisdom in that too.
Though we continue seeking the Lord and do not accept any sin in our life as something we are bound to, we should always keep the onward and upward mindset no matter how righteous we think we are becoming. We need to stay humble and know that there is always room for growth now and until the day we die. If God is good to us, He will allow thorns in our flesh to help us with that. So, I will also try to do better about taking pleasure in my weakness, because these infirmities are blessings from God in more ways than one.