2 Corinthians 12:7-10
- Falling ill and getting sick is a part of life.
- No matter how hard we try to stay healthy, bad things still strike. Even the smartest doctors cannot predict these things.
- When you first found out about having a serious illness, it was just disbelief - you cannot believe it is happening to you. Your life is totally changed.
- You pray to God but all you got from God is silence and more disappointment, more bad news.
- Disbelief turns into disappointments; disappointments turns into anger; anger turns into depression and hopelessness.
- How do we resolve this tension as a Christian?
The Turning Point
- "You can be well even when you are sick."
- Paul illustrated this truth in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.
- Paul has been troubled by "a thorn in the flesh" (possibly poor eyesight, epilepsy, or severe migraine headaches)
- It has been bothering and interfering his ministry and slowing him down in spreading the gospel.
- Paul prayed on three occasions, expecting God to remove it.
- God did not take away the thorn, much like our own disappointment of unanswered prayers sometimes.
- Instead, God says to Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9b)
- Instead of healing, God gave Paul a promise and this is the answer to Paul’s prayers.
- The promise is that whatever the thorn or illness might be, you will be given sufficient strength to tough it out, and to endure it.
- Paul concluded that he will boost his weaknesses which is exactly the opposite of our thinking and culture.
- God’s power does not displace nor overcome our weaknesses - God’s power is manifested in our weaknesses.
- Paul has discovered the secret of a different kind of strength, and in order to possess it you have to be weak. "For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:10b)
- You can continue to focus on the illness, on the disappointment, on the anger.
- You can continue to choose to live in isolation, to be alone, to be away from God.
- You can choose to be bitter and depressed. You can continue to think that God has been cruel.
- Or you can choose the alternative, a promise from your heavenly Father: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9b)
- How would you choose?
- Are you ready to release the power of God in the midst of your weakness and suffering?