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)

The Choice

  • 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?