God’s STRENGTH is made ‘PERFECT’ in our WEAKNESS: "And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Cor 12:7-10)
Our world prizes strength - the physical strength of athletes, the financial strength of companies, the political strength of office-holders, and the military strength of armies. But Apostle Paul put a new twist on our notion of strength: God’s strength is made perfect (complete, mature) in our weakness. Our trials will remain but will always be accompanied by the enduring grace of God, when we put our trust on Him. God’s grace will be sufficient for what we may face in our lives!
Despite human weaknesses, God’s grace attains His purposes in a fallen world. When believers are without strength and look to God (v. 8), He provides power by His grace. This promise from God no doubt gave Paul strength and encouragement in subsequent sufferings. Paul’s spiritual view was so clear that he could see his sufferings as reasons for rejoicing, because he knew that in them all of Christ’s power was at work. In Paul’s weaknesses, Christ’s power was made more apparent to others. It would bring praise to the only One who deserved it!
Let us understand that both natural weakness and supernatural power are constantly at work in us, as they were in Paul and in Jesus. The greater we sense our weakness, the more we can sense God’s power. Our success does not depend on our natural abilities but on God’s power working in and through us. Human weakness can be a profound blessing if it results in our depending more on God and less on self!
In God’s kingdom, greatness comes when we are willing to assume positions of weakness (Matt. 20:26). Weakness thus has a way of making us rely on God far more than our strengths do. It is when we are conscious of our own weakness and nothingness that we depend on the power of God. And it is only when we are thus cast on Him in complete dependence that His power is manifested to us, and we are truly strong!
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil 4:13)